This post is part of the National Poetry Month Blog Tour for 2010 hosted by Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit. Serena has been participating in National Poetry Month events for several years and is a super hostess for this blog tour.
Each blog that is part of the tour is highlighting a different poet. I've chosen Edgar Allan Poe. I've been reading his poems and short stories for more than 35 years. Each time, I find something new and interesting.
Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father and mother were both professional actors. They died before Poe was three and he was raised as a foster child by John and Frances Allan in Richmond, Virginia.
Poe was sent to the best boarding schools and to the University of Virginia, where he excelled. However, after less than one year of school, he was forced to leave the university due to gambling debts.
He returned to Richmond and then moved to Boston in 1827 where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. His first collection of poems was published that year.
In 1829, he published a second collection of poems, but neither volume received much attention.
Following his Army service, he was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy but was again forced to leave for lack of financial support. He moved to the home of his aunt and her daughter in Baltimore, Maryland.
He began to sell short stories to magazines and became the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond in 1835. He married his cousin Virginia the following year.
Over the next 10 years, Poe edited a number of literary journals. It was during
these years that he established himself as a poet, short story writer and editor.
After Virginia’s death in 1847 from tuberculosis, his lifelong struggle with depression and alcoholism worsened. He returned briefly to Richmond in 1849 and then accepted an editing job in Philadelphia. On his way to his new position, he stopped in Baltimore.
On October 3, 1849, he was found in a state of semi-consciousness. He died four days later and is buried in Baltimore.
Poe’s work had an impact of American and international literature. His stories mark him as one of the originators of both horror and detective fiction and he is often credited as the “architect” of the modern short story.
The Poe House, located in Richmond, is a museum dedicated to this well-known poet and fiction writer. Although he never lived in any of the museum’s buildings, it houses the world’s largest collection of artifacts and memorabilia, including bricks from the office at the Southern Literary Messenger and furniture he once used in one of his homes.
One of his most recognized poems is “The Raven.” Even those who aren’t familiar with his works can quote certain parts of this particular poem, such as “Once upon a midnight dreary” and the famous line “Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.’”
It’s a long poem, so I’m only including part of it within this particular post.
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore--
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door--
"Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door--
Only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;--vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow--sorrow for the lost Lenore--
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore--
Nameless here for evermore.
Be sure to stop by Savvy Verse & Wit to find out which other blogs are participating in the National Poetry Month tour.