Sunday, August 20, 2017
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
Perhaps Edgar Allan Poe's most noted and quoted works is "The Raven"... a fascinating poem.
Poe started writing short stories in his early teen years and one of them won a writing contest and was published in a literary journal of the day. He gained notoriety as his subsequent works were well received. But it was this poem, " The Raven," published two years before his death in 1845, that captured the attention of a broader audience and made him a household name. It is a compelling read most noted for its musicality, stylized language and supernatural atmosphere.
Poe's biography is worth more words than I care to write but it is a most interesting story ( synopsied here ) on the web page of the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. It is filled sadness, love lost, a brief military career ending at West Point, poverty, heartbreak, death, regeneration, twists and turns that, in itself, would make a tale suitable to his work. His subsequent marriage to a 14-year-old, her death and then his at age 40 could be the making for a Steven King novella.
He is acknowledged as the father of the detective story for his "Murders in the Rue Morgue," resolved by deductive reasoning--a novel approach of the day subsequently adapted by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle for his Sherlock Holmes tales and the many, many authors we enjoy.
But he is better known to his followers as The Master of Macabre for his short stories and poems in that genre. Raise your hand if you were one who didn't sleep easy after a good Poe read.
His bibliography lists The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death and The Fall of the House of Usher among his works.
I started writing this blog post on interesting quotes but using "The Raven" as my lead quickly compelled me to search Poe deeper and reread some of the classics that I had forgotten.