1] Twain's parody of obituary poetry popular in the late 19th century (Adventures, pp. 402-03). A poem described by Huckleberry Finn as by the late Emmeline Grangerford (who died before her 14th birthday) and as printed in the Presbyterian Observer. "Buck said she could rattle off poetry like nothing. She didn't ever have to stop to think. He said she would slap down a line, and if she couldn't find anything to rhyme with it she would just scratch it out and slap down another one, and go ahead. She warn't particular, she could write about anything you choose to give her to write about, just so it was sadful. Every time a man died, or a woman died, or a child died, she would be on hand withher `tribute' before he was cold. She called them tributes. The neighbors said it was the doctor first, then Emmeline, then the undertaker--the undertaker never got in ahead of Emmeline but once, and then she hung fire on a rhyme for the dead person's name, which was Whistler. She warn't ever the same, after that; she never complained, but she kind of pined away and did not live long" (p. 141).
Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department
of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.
Original text: Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Works of Mark Twain, vol. 8, ed. Walter Blair and Victor Fischer, with the assistance of Dahlia Armon and Harriet Elinor Smith (Berkeley: University of California Press in cooperation with the University of Iowa, 1988), p. 139. PS 1300 F72 v. 8 Trinity College.
First publication date: 1885
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO, 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/1/30
Other poems by Mark Twain