Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Edgar Allan Poe

April is National Poetry Month, so in honor of this, I have chosen to share poems by Edgar Allan Poe, my favorite poet.  A search in the database, Literature Resource Center, yielded an online book, Mystery and Suspense Writers: The Literature of Crime, Detection, and Espionage (1998), from Scribner Writers Series, with a chapter by J. Gerald Kennedy, all about Poe.  

Poe was born on Jan. 19, 1809 to actor parents, David Poe and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe.  David Poe abandoned the family before Edgar was a year old and Elizabeth died before Edgar reached the age of two.  Poe was sent to a foster family who spoiled him, but never legally adopted him resulting in a precarious financial situation during college at the University of Virginia and also while at West Point.  Despite his rocky start, Poe wrote and published his poems and stories.

A dramatic reading of "The Raven" and "Annabel Lee" may be found through the database, Films on Demand, under "'The Raven' and Other Poems".

Poem Excerpts:

“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 someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only.
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered 'Other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.'
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door,
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor,
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

"My Annabel Lee"

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling - my darling- my life and my bride
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

"The Bells" - verse 1

Hear the sledges with the bells - SilverBells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a Crystalline delight
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells -
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

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