The Zombie of Shalott

Author’s Note:

I saved the best for last. I know it isn’t cool to laugh at your own jokes, but this blog post made cackle. I think I should pervert more of the world’s classic literature. What do you think? Anyway, I’ll be back next week with more fresh scrapings from my brain (not literally) in the form of new posts. 

Everything is better with zombies. (Okay, except for apocalypses. Then it just means things have taken a turn for the worst.)

But I’m still going to stand by the fact that most things are better with zombies. Which was my exact thought when I took another look at one of my favorite poems of all time: The Lady of Shalott by Lord Alfred Tennyson. It’s a rather dark poem, which centers around a lady from Shalott. She is cursed and cannot look directly out of her window at the nearest town, which is Camelot. Instead, she must look at a mirror to watch the daily happenings as a lonely bystander. That is, until she sees the hunky Lancelot. She then turns around in her tower, takes a good look, and dies. (Ladies, let me remind you. No man is that good looking. No matter what your magic mirror says.)

Well, I mean, she doesn’t die right away. She gets into a boat with her name on it and sails down (ironically) to Camelot so that all of the people of the town can gaze upon her (which is actually a huge metaphor for women in the media, if you ask me) and basically, Lancelot decides she’s pretty hot, ya know. Posthumously.

The end.

Or is it?

So, I thought this four part poem could use a fifth. I think all of you English majors (and anyone who has a sense of humor) will enjoy that I brought this poem into the 21st century. You could even say that I brought it back from the dead.

Ahem. Anyway, here is the last stanza of the original poem in case you forgot how that ended.

They cross’d themselves, their stars they blest,
Knight, minstrel, abbot, squire, and guest.
There lay a parchment on her breast,
That puzzled more than all the rest,
       The wellfed wits at Camelot.
‘The web was woven curiously,
The charm is broken utterly,
Draw near and fear not,—this is I,
       The Lady of Shalott.’
Now, here’s mine.
Gathered by the boat, near her cold, pale head,
Their hearts and eyes were filled with dread,
But the closer they moved, the more they said,
“But seriously, are you sure she’s dead?”
The lady of Shalott.
And then, from out of the bustling crowd,
Came a man tall, handsome, and extremely loud
Walking forward, no, strutting, acting very proud,
was Lancelot of Camelot.
“Don’t worry, citizens, for I am here,
And so you must cast away your fear,
I was voted sexiest man of the year,
(It was almost solely due to my rear)
It is I, Lancelot of Camelot.”
And so he stepped onto the bank,
And examined her face (which was blank)
“If I had to give her a number, a rank,
It would be an eight, she’s kind of hot.”
While the crowd listened to the knight closely,
The lady’s complexion became rather ghostly,
Suddenly, she opened her eyes, which were mostly,
red and bloodshot, and moaned rather grossly,
The lady of Shalott.
No one saw that the lady had awoke,
and everyone thought it was a terrible joke,
when she rose eerily from the boat and spoke,
The lady of Shalott.
“Hear this,” she said in a booming voice,
(but the bored townspeople thought, “do we have a choice?”)
“All who bow down to me will be able to rejoice,
but death and destruction on everyone else I must foist,”
the now zombie of Shalott.
Who animates corpses these days? they all thought,
but Lancelot, who is never distraught,
asked, “What, fair mistress, on this town have you brought?”
the zombie formerly of Shalott.
“I don’t want much,” she replied, “because it’s always the same.”
“And what would that be, maybe my last name?”
“No, that won’t do. It has to be brains.
And actually it would be nice to cut out this stupid refrain,”
said the zombie of Shalott.
“You can have my brains, but it will be a small meal,”
said Lancelot happily, hoping to stealthily steal,
the lady’s heart. A damsel in distress? What a deal!
The idiot knight of Camelot.
So, she ravenously began to eat,
Not wanting to miss the show, they took a seat,
and watched the young lady enjoy her treat,
of knighted Lancelot, a man no one could defeat,
the zombie of Shalott.
The town was glad to be rid of the pompous knight,
And so they took her in, and they treated her right,
And she tried hard not to eat them, with all of her might.
The happy (but hungry) zombie of Shalott.

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