Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Hallowe'en

This year, litbrit Glinda the Good Witch of the North, along with two Wicked Witches, read spooky stories to Son Three's classmates at the annual Hallowe'en Carnival. Nothing too spooky, though, since the Witches were also Mamas, and we didn't want to have our little goblins and Spidermen and Transformers plagued by nightmares (storybook women need our sleep too, you know).

I couldn't read this wonderful poem by Edgar Allan Poe, for example, to a roomful of six-year-olds, but I thought I'd post it here in honor of the day.

Carpe diem!

The Conquerer Worm

Lo! 'tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, bewinged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see
A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully
The music of the spheres.

Mimes, in the form of God on high,
Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly--
Mere puppets they, who come and go
At bidding of vast formless things
That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings
Invisible Woe!

That motley drama--oh, be sure
It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore,
By a crowd that seize it not,
Through a circle that ever returneth in
To the self-same spot,
And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot.

But see, amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude!
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes!--it writhes!--with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And seraphs sob at vermin fangs
In human gore imbued.

Out--out are the lights--out all!
And, over each quivering form,
The curtain, a funeral pall,
Comes down with the rush of a storm,
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, "Man,"
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

-- Edgar Allan Poe

The definition of Hallowe'en madness:
wearing a faux-fur skirt in Florida.

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