Monday, July 28, 2008

My sister and I are morbid.

I could be wrong, but here's some strong anecdotal evidence.

One summer thirty years ago, my mother decided that she would have no summer brain atrophy among her children, so she handed us 100 Best Loved Poems and told us to pick one we liked and memorize it. We did. We can still recite both poems.

(Notice the common the common morbid theme in both poems. Pure coincidence.)

(Notice all of those stinkin' indentations and dashes. Did you know that you have to stinkin' use HTML code to make those happen? Can I get some stinkin' applause, please?)

(Go ahead read them out loud. They're kinda cool. Plus if you read them out loud, you'll feel the lovely cadence AND people will look at you funny.)

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
     In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
     By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
     Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
     In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
     I and my ANNABEL LEE;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
     Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
     In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
     My beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
So that her highborn kinsman came
     And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
     In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
     Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
     In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
     Chilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
     Of those who were older than we—
     Of many far wiser than we—
And neither the angels in heaven above,
     Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
     Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
     Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
     Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
     In the sepulchre there by the sea,
     In her tomb by the sounding sea.

—Edgar Allan Poe



O Captain! My Captain!

                                            1

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
     But O heart! heart! heart!
          O the bleeding drops of red,
               Where on the deck my Captain lies,
                    Fallen cold and dead.

                                            2

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
     Here Captain! dear father!
          This arm beneath your head;
               It is some dream that on the deck,
                    You’ve fallen cold and dead.

                                            3

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
     Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
          But I, with mournful tread,
               Walk the deck my Captain lies,
                    Fallen cold and dead.

—Walt Whitman

10 comments:

6k9s said...

Man, you must have had a great mother. I certainly envy you. What a saint she must be. Bet you and your mom have had a loving, respectful, open relationship with no bumps in the road. Right?
So, gotta go lay next to the bleeding drops of red corpse now.
BTW, if you remove the silent letter at the end of the word corpse, you now have two silent letters at the end of the resulting word, corps.

Jami said...

Absolutely, she is the best. I am (even to this day) constantly learning from her.

LA said...

Well, I am a failure as a mother. My kids won't even read captain underpants. Ok, that my be a bit much but, if I told them to read poetry I'm pretty sure they would all run away. On the topic of morbidity, I still haven't brought myself to read the "Twilight" books because I can't let go of the emotional attachment to Anne Rice. I'm starting to feel like an outcast. (That might be the other reason I haven't read them. Hmmm)

Jami said...

Oh La you came by! How fun!

I haven't read the Twilight books because they aren't done yet. I also fear vampires. The first concern is legit. The second's a wee bit lame. (What's the definition of fiction again?)

Go ahead and read them. You could knock the whole series off in a day and then you'd have something to talk about on park day other than Prop 8.

Annette Lyon said...

Yay! Someone else who's as morbid as I am!

And yes, I am duly impressed with the HTML spacing, being as I'm a techno-idiot. Bravo.

Jami said...

Thank you Annette. All of those spaces got stripped out three times. I was getting twitchy. I'm so glad I finally worked it out.

For morbid poems, have you ever read "The Highwayman?" Over the top morbid, with a great beat!

Papa D said...

I've always wondered why it's called morbid obesity. Other than that, I'm not into morbidity much.

Heidi Ashworth said...

Two of my favorite poems, Annabelle Lee and The Highwayman (which was set to music by Loreena McKennit, by the way) because they make music when you speak them--I had heard of the O Captain one from Dead Poet's Society (another morbid work of art but a must see)so it was fun to actually read that one, too. Thanks!

ELASTICWAISTBANDLADY said...

And now Annabel Lee is scratched off the list of future names for my children.

Jami said...

I think as mothers we should probably keep our maidens (regardless of their names) away from morbid creepy poets. Do we really want our maidens being the inspiration for an "I loved this girl and then really rotten supernatural crud happened to her. Cool now I can write a morbid poem with rhythm!" poem? I think not.