Monday, October 31, 2011

Remembering Edgar A. Poe on Halloween

Edgar Allan Poe - He was an orphan, an alcoholic, a temperamental and often highly emotional man, and gifted with an imagination that served him well as a writer. Today I’m saluting Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). Poe’s literary output needs no introduction from me. Stories such as “The Black Cat,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “Morella” are among the finest tales of mystery and horror ever created. Such poetry as “The Raven” and “The Bells” are hauntingly beautiful.
(Photo on left, early image of Poe -
Photo on right last image of Poe the year he died)

I recommend Kenneth Silverman’s 1991 biography as the definitive bio of Poe and the Doubleday Complete Stories and Poems as the definitive companion volume.

The photographs reproduced here are the best known of Poe. To the best of my knowledge, there are perhaps only one or two other known photographs, but these are the best, including the last one taken the year he died.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness – for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee – and their will
Shall overshadow thee: be still.

Spirits of the Dead, stanza 2

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