The Life and Times of Allan Poe

edgar-allen-poe I've never really known much about Edgar Allan Poe. In fact, up until yesterday I kept spelling it "Allen" so that in itself speaks for something.

We were at a party a few weeks ago and someone brought up the saying "It was a dark and stormy night...." which almost immediately was attributed to Poe, and then almost as quickly countered with "No.. common misconception; sounds like Poe, but not Poe."

That person was right of course - the common saying might sound like something Poe would have written, in fact it was coined by English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the opening sentence of his 1830 novel Paul Clifford.

The point is. How can I NOT have known more about Poe?

He's so utterly macabre; I'm in love with the dead guy.

Edgar-allen-poe Movember inspiration anyone?? ^^^

Like many good writers going through the growing pains, his style was completely criticized during his time. People thought he was a hack, a cliche. Oh yea.. and then he went and created a whole movement. Hello, anyone heard of the American Romantic Movement?

To which, Edgar Allan says: You're welcome.

Also if you're mother is anything like my mother (i.e. loves Victorian era-style mystery) then they should all get together and start a Poe book club. Because it's all him baby; the brain child behind what has become modern day detective fiction. Some people even say science fiction stemmed from his stuffSo it looks like there are many different reasons to go back in history and make Poe's critics do a massive face palm.

Anyway. You seemingly can't be a 17th Century writer without being tormented in some way; and so he died a death worthy of one of his stories (found to be wandering the streets; completely insane.)

He drank. He lied. He married his 13-year old cousin when he was 26.

Not exactly a model citizen.

But he also wrote "The Raven."

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary, 

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.'

That's the first stanza of one the most popular American poems ever written. Read it on a dark and stormy night; it's perfect Hallowe'en type reading ;).

Also weird picture of Mike and I with a Raven. (No relation to the poem.)