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That Skull Should Have Been EmptyPosted Tuesday, October 23, 2007, at 9:22 AM
What went on in this man's head?
Poe died back in 1840 under appropriately mysterious circumstances for the inventor of the detective story. He disappeared, was found babbling and out of his head in a tavern and died a few days later. Theories abound. Was it advanced alcoholism? Some sort of fever? Was he poisoned by his in-laws? A man named Matthew Pearl, researching a Poe novel, came across some intriguing circumstantial evidence that points toward a brain tumor as the culprit that put Poe in his oblong box.
It seems that when they moved his body years after his death, people noted that his brain had dried up and "rattled around" inside his skull. But pathologists say that brains shouldn't do that. Tumors, however, might. This inevitably leads to the following, because I can't help it. I just can't help it.:
Once beneath a Ballmer headstone, as I lay there mostly dead bone,
In the box where my remains for all those years were darkly hid,
As I lay there gently napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of someone's shovel rapping, rapping on my coffin lid.
"Who the heck is this," I muttered, "scratching on my mouldy lid?
Hope it's not some nosy kid."
Ah, the unexpected shocks! How quickly as they hoist my box now
Slide my shins into my socks and makes my spine a sudden bend!
Eagerly I wish they'd quit it! Do not like this row one bit, it
Shakes me up I must admit, it seems to spill me they intend!
For the callous, clumsy clowns have all conspired me to send
Piling all up in one end!
And the crackling, creaking crying of the boards they now are prying
Thrill me, fill me with annoyance like I haven't felt for years!
Where do they get off to take me from the ground and rudely shake me?
Can it be my jumbled bones awake in them no tinge of fear?
Then from my skull there arose such a clatter
That they peered in my ear to see what was the matter.
All picks and shovels thrown down with a crash,
They look for a crack for to shine in their flash.
And what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a dried up brain tumor there inside my ear!
On Dasher! On Dancer! On Comet and
Wait a minute. That's not right. Well, anyway. Poe. Brain tumor. And to all a good night.
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