Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Troubled Youth

When I first read this poem, I started to picture a cranky old man muttering it at me. "MMmmmph, don't remember me at all, damn kids..."

Then I looked at the dates.

He's just a kid! I'll bet he's somewhere stomping his feet and demanding graham crackers. No lambs or little angels here, just a poem that manages to ever so gently give us the finger.


  1. I got the exact same impression.
    What kind of parents feel the need to put that on a tombstone for a five (no... I guess he was technically four) year old?

    I can completely understand the first half of it. What people wouldn't be smiling and happy around a kid of four, etc? Was this a passive aggressive remark to some asshole in the family who didn't like their kid or something?

  2. His mother must have watched one too many episodes of Little House on the Prairie. There's an epi where a mother dies (cause' it's LHotP) and leaves a bunch of orphans (again...it's LHotP) and there's a voice over where the dead mom reads this sappy poem (it's LHotP) word for word.

  3. It sounds like a pretty awful homage to a Christina Rossetti poem.

    "REMEMBER me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go, yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you plann'd:
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray.
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
    For if the darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad."

    Which comes off less grumpy, as it's more 'I want you to remember the happy times with me, but if remembering me makes you sad, I'd rather you didn't remember, so you can be happy'.

    The version on that stone, however, definitely comes off petulantly.