Friday, January 20, 2017

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

On January 20th, 1809, poet, author and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston, Massachusetts. By the time he was three years old, both of Poe’s parents had died, leaving him in the care of his godfather, John Allan, a wealthy tobacco merchant. After attending school in England, Poe entered the University of Virginia (UVA) in 1826. After fighting with Allan over his heavy gambling debts, he was forced to leave UVA after only eight months. Poe then served two years in the U.S. Army and won an appointment to West Point. After another falling-out, Allan cut him off completely and he got himself dismissed from the academy for rules infractions.
Dark, handsome and brooding, Poe had published three works of poetry by that time, none of which had received much attention. In 1836, while working as an editor at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia, Poe married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm. 
Virginia Clemm Poe
He also completed his first full-length work of fiction, Arthur Gordon Pym, published in 1838. Poe lost his job at the Messenger due to his heavy drinking, and the couple moved to Philadelphia, where Poe worked as an editor at Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Graham’s Magazine. He became known for his direct and incisive criticism, as well as for dark horror stories like The Fall of the House of Usher and The Tell-Tale Heart. Also around this time, Poe began writing mystery stories, including The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Purloined Letter, works that would earn him a reputation as the father of the modern detective story.
In 1844, the Poes moved to New York City. He scored a spectacular success the following year with his poem The Raven. While Poe was working to launch The Broadway Journal which soon failed, his wife Virginia fell ill and died of tuberculosis in early 1847. His wife’s death drove Poe even deeper into alcoholism and drug abuse. After becoming involved with several women, Poe returned to Richmond in 1849 and got engaged to an old flame. Before the wedding, however, Poe died suddenly. Though circumstances are somewhat unclear, it appeared he began drinking at a party in Baltimore and disappeared, only to be found incoherent in a gutter three days later. Taken to the hospital, he died on October 7, 1849, at age 40.
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Poems by Edgar Allen Poe
·       The City Of Sin

by Edgar Allan Poe


LO! Death hath rear'd himself a throne
In a strange city, all alone,
Far down within the dim west -
Where the good, and the bad, and the worst, and the best,
Have gone to their eternal rest.

There shrines, and palaces, and towers
Are - not like any thing of ours -
Oh no! - O no! - ours never loom
To heaven with that ungodly gloom!
Time-eaten towers that tremble not!
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

No holy rays from heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town,
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently —
Up thrones - up long-forgotten bowers
Of scultur'd ivy and stone flowers -
Up domes - up spires - up kingly halls -
Up fanes - up Babylon-like walls -
Up many a melancholy shrine
Whose entablatures intertwine
The mask - the viol - and the vine.

There open temples - open graves
Are on a level with the waves -
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye,
Not the gaily-jewell'd dead
Tempt the waters from their bed:
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass -
No swellings hint that winds may be
Upon a far-off happier sea:
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from the high towers of the town
Death looks gigantically down

But lo! a stir is in the air!
The wave - there is a ripple there!
As if the towers had thrown aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide -
As if the turret-tops had given
A vacuum in the filmy heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow -
The very hours are breathing low -
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down, that town shall settle hence,
All Hades, from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence,
And Death to some more happy clime
Shall give his undivided time.

*                  *                 *

Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allan Poe

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 winged 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 kinsman 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 the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea. 

*                  *                   *

Quotes by Edgar Allen Poe

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. 

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.

Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.

To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.

A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this - that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made - not to understand - but to feel - as crime. 

I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty. 

I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.


The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.

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