poetry critical

online poetry workshop



Typhoid Epidemic (1862)
larrylark

"When they died we had to lay them out
 1
in the house  as they weren't allowed
 2
near the hospital; and it were nearly
 3
always fatal. So when it started we knew
 4
it probably wouldn't be long. They'd bring
 5
coffins in and your mother would make you go and look.
 6
"Isn't she lovely." they'd say, but all you wanted
 7
was for her to sit up, climb out and play.
 8
If it were your dad you'd be dead scared,
 9
warily hanging back by the door, and she'd say,
 10
"He didn't hurt you when he were living." (which he did)
 11
"So he's not going to hurt you now. Go and kiss him."
 12
Which we did, secretly wondering at the cold marble
 13
of the skin while the sun shone so fierce outside.
 14
We'd have that for three days: relatives, neighbours,
 15
even them he said he never liked arrived.
 16
Worst was the smell of lavender.
 17
Lavender was all we could smell.
 18
My stomach still turns to this day if I so much as
 19
catch one whiff.
 20
Then they came and screwed down the lid
 21
and that were the the finish of it. "
 22

24 Jul 08

Rated 8.5 (9) by 2 users.
Active (2): 8, 9
Inactive (1): 10

(define the words in this poem)
(649 more poems by this author)



Add A Comment:
Enter the following text to post as unknown: captcha

Comments:

he gives me feevah,
when he kiss me,
feevah when he holds
me tite... FeVah!
i'm on fyah,
feever all through
the nite.
 — joey

LOL

Larry intemperate zone :ark
 — unknown

well done; i felt like i was a child at this funeral, and it reminded me of my own childhood experience with death in the family at the same time. i never thought much about the origin of the phrase "laid out in lavender" until your piece brought it to me.
 — SilverGirl

where is opal? I miss her and her poetry? Bring her back, if you can.
 — unknown

Dear SilverGirl

I am so pleased you reponsed to this poem.

Larry grateful Lark
 — larrylark

She has just descended the stairs for breakfast.


Larry egg and bacon Lark
 — larrylark

a pearl amongst pearls.
 — stout

Dear stout

I think you meant a swine among pearls did you not?

Larry filthy swine Lark
 — larrylark

If you mean the Emperess of Blandings, ok then.
 — stout

Is this copied from something?  If so, you need to give credit for that in an intro or footnote.  The way you've posted it, with the " marks, it looks like it's a kind of 'found" article or something.  

If not, sorry, but you must see how it would come across that way.  It's so raw and real.  I wonder how many caught the fever kissing the dead.  
 — Isabelle5

You're absolutely correct Isabelle. I stumbled across this in a very beautiful house we stayed in across from Lincoln Cathedral, so much of it is found. I should have mentioned it but sometimes you are in too many places at once. I think it was in a book about the history of Lincoln. I take absolutely no credit for this poem except for the changes i made to make it run on and additional lines inserted which may or may not have added to its impact. I have other poems about the past on here that I have worked on in a similar way as i feel that the historical immediacy can be added to in a poetic context and presented in a way that might get more people to understand about the past. For after all, if we do not understand what has gone before, how can we effectively advance into the future.

Larry eons of time Lark
 — unknown

Either way, this is very good, Larry.
 — Isabelle5

Hi stout

I should have been the great nephew of that lovely woman
 — unknown

Hi Isabelle

It's cool and I always treasure a comment from you

Larry
 — larrylark

goodness. this is so richly told. vernacular style, told in your nice humorous fashion. line sixteen is awesome, proves my point completely. and there are others.
 — listen

Thanks listen

Larry living in the past Lark
 — larrylark

0.231s