Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Emmeline Grangerford-The First Goth

Whenever I need to reverse a mood of curmudgeonliness , I find something funny to read, and there is nothing funnier to read than Huckleberry Finn's descriptions of Emmeline Grangerford, dead daughter of Colonel Grangerford in "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn".

Emmeline was a dark haired ,funereal girl preoccupied with the dead and the dying. When anyone in her town was ,as we say here in the South, "fixin to die", Huck says that"it was the doctor first,then Emmeline,then the undertaker"-

Emmeline inflicted her poetry, which she called "tributes" on the grieving families, and she kept a scrap book that was her ode to Death. She even wrote poetry for dead birds, and she drew pictures of the avian deceased, which lay feet up in her hands. Below the picture she wrote"I shall never hear Thy Sweet Chirrup More Alas".

Huck Finn admitted that her poetry and her drawings gave him "the fan-tods", a word we should revive immediately to replace all the worn out, useless ones we have beaten to death. Instead of telling our doctor we think we are bi-polar, we should tell him we have a case of the fan-tods. Let's find out what pill Merck can invent to cure that.

No doubt today Emmeline would be alive in Therapy, or worse ,for an Obsessive disorder, but her spirit was exhausted after only 15 years on Earth. As Huck says"But I reckoned with her disposition, she was having a better time in the graveyard".

Huck recites one of her poems about poor Stephen Dowling Bots, who fell down a well and "drownded". I will include two of the stanzas.

"No whooping cough did rack his frame
No measles drear with spots;
Not these impaired the sacred name
Of Stephen Dowling Bots".

Despised love struck not with woe
That head of curly knots,
Nor stomach troubles laid him low,
Young Stephen Dowling Bots".

I reckon, as Huck would say, that when Death came for Emmeline, the Reaper was laughing.

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