Most Sincerely Yours, E.A. Poe

I've always been fascinated with Poe. He first caught my attention when I was a young girl, probably not much older than his wife, Virginia. Strange, I love his writing, but I have always been more interested in how his choice of topics and genre were influenced by his life and nature. I wondered, endlessly, about the man who married his 13-year old cousin, but presumably became so devoted to her that he never recovered from her death. What pieces of his childhood were infused and entwined in his stories and poetry - his adoptive parents' disappointments in him, or perhaps his own uncertainty and rebellious nature?

I especially loved, of all his works, the poem "Annabel Lee", which describes the longing and remembering after the loss of a dear and fragile love. Every time I read it, I can feel his broken heart in every word, and almost see his eyes turn another shade darker while he drank to numb his soul. And yet I also think about the fact that, despite everything, he (more or less) made a living and a career out of the events that had shaped him, changing it all yet again into stories to send shivers down the backs of the common men and women who read them.

It is said that he had skill in cryptography, and that this interest led him to write the first detective stories, solve puzzles for the readers of his magazine, and invent codes to amuse his subscribers. It is said that he drank himself to death. It is said that he was mad with grief, and it is said that he was just plain mad. In any case, I can't help but wonder each time I think of him what his art would have reflected had he lived an ordinary life, full of success, ambition, and happy memories. Do we bring the sadness upon ourselves, or do we simply utilize what we need to create our art? Perhaps someday I will ask that Raven.

I started a new story a few days ago, a story in the style of Mr. E.A. I began to write it, or more appropriately, it began to write itself, on a dark and gloomy mid-winter day when I was totally alone in the house, and felt totally alone in the world. I hope he would have liked it. Or, at least, have understood why I had to write it.

Most Sincerely Yours,

02 February 2008

1 Comment:

kid said...

I love Poe he's one of my favorite writers. You have to love those Vincent Price movies. Just try to lay off the wormwood . I think that him living in Baltimore has a lot to do withh his style of writing. Most of the old buildings and seaside location make it a cold place.

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