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Edgar Allen Poe (is not just the depressed fifteen year old goth girl's soulmate).



....that's Robert Smith. I KID I KID.

no seriously, every depressed kid I knew that was into books and/or poetry went through a Poe phase. and who was right there besides them? me, and the ghost of Poe. quoth the raven. (that poem was actually written in Pennsylvania. there's some inn or something in central Pennsylvania that uses that as their "claim to fame," despite the fact that Baltimore is all like POE IS OUR SON LET'S NAME THE FOOTBALL TEAM FOR A POEM and why aren't
more football teams named for poems! thanks Wenli for that bit of knowledge).

nevermore, nevermore.

I prefer to think of Poe as the father of the modern detective novel. Think the Murders in the Rue Morgue. Though I didn't particularly care for that, or say the Telltale Heart or the Pit and the Pendulum (although the Vincent Price movie based on it? very nice very nice!) or okay I AM NOT A POE FAN.

but he turned 202 yesterday (Poe, I'm sorry you weren't alive to celebrate this mildstone, I hear 2o2th birthday parties are off-the-charts) and I thought this was important to mark in some form or another. Poe had a sad life. he died at the ripe age of 40 from unknown, mysterious causes. I don't think his last days were very pretty. he also drank a lot. writers seem to do this and die from it. DON'T LOOK AT ME.

this is what he could have died from, according to Wikipedia:
- suicide
- MURDERRRR
- cholera
- rabies
- syphillis
- the flu
- cooping? which is: some kind of weird voting strategy? wtf.

what's most interesting to me, though, is that Poe's anonymous grave toaster, who has been a staple on his birthday since the 1940s, has NOT SHOWN AGAIN. do I need to start leaving cognac at his grave on January 19th? because I don't even like Poe and I'd do that to keep the tradition alive. (what I need to do is leave some gin at Fitzgerald's grave.)

supposedly the black-cloaked grave-toaster of Poe's would leave a half-empty bottle of cognac, some roses and toast the grave and then disappear, leaving any bystander to wonder WOT THE HELL. people do weird things to graves! the only graves I have desires to visit are those of Fitzgerald and Natalie Wood and both of those were decided a long time ago.

in honor of Poe's 2-0-2, I will raise some cognac at my house to him and post one of his poems which is one of the first poems I can remember loving, written after the death of his first wife:

ANNABEL LEE.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of ANNABEL LEE;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea.
But we loved with a love that was more than love —
I and my ANNABEL LEE
With a love that the wingëd seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me —
Yes! — that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my ANNABEL LEE.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we —
Of many far wiser than we —
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE:

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful ANNABEL LEE,
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling — my darling — my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea —
In her tomb by the sounding sea.




p.s. Poe was considered quite the looker in his day. BOM CHICKA BOM WA

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