Shew1 David Shew Professor Renee Simms March 9, 2011 CW 160: Introduction to Poetry Edgar Allan Poe Dark«foreboding...horror«morbid«depressing«weird«confusing«loss«death. One word can gives all these words a common factor. That word is Poe. On paper, "Poe" is just a word, it doesn't mean much. Or it can mean many things. I crater on Mercury. A common figure in the Zelda video game g ame series.The Baltimore Ravens¶ mascot.A popular Tahitian dish. But, for writers, English students, followers followers of o f Dark Romanticism, and evenbasic scholars, the wo rd "Poe" means so much more. "Poe" to the aforementioned people, is an icon, a person they aspire to be like, or just a very obscure person who is not and pro bably never will be fully understood. The word ³Poe´ to all those people refers to the famous poet, short story writer,critic, writer,critic, and author to a few books, known as E.A. Poe, or Edgar Allan Poe, whom most studied persons just know as Poe. For them, if someone mentioned the word Poe, they would immediately think of Edgar Allan Poe. As previously stated, Poe was a very obscure person whom who m many literary scholars still try to make head or t ails of. The favorable reason to his macabre works is tho ught to be the result of having so many losses early in his life. Whatever the reason, whether it be because of inopportune deaths or just because he was sick in the head, Poe¶s works did a great deal for English literature and for scholars¶ minds. He is the most renowned wr iter of Dark Romanticism, namely gothic fiction. Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 to actors Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins and David Poe Jr. in Boston, Massachusetts. Infant Edgar had but a short time with his natural parents as they split up in 1810, due to Mr. Poe abandoning the family. A year after the abandonment, on January 8, 1811, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins died from what is thought if
Shew2 pulmonary tuberculosis. A few days later, on January 10, 1811, Edgar¶s father, David Poe was pronounced dead from an unknown cause (Edgar Allan Poe - Wikipedia). After going through such tragedy, little Edgar was taken in by Frances and John Allan, a wealthy merchant in Richmond, Virginia. In 1815, the makeshift family moved to England, and young Edgar attended school in Chelsea (Edgar Allan Poe - Wikipedia). It was here, in England, where E dgar was introduced to Gothic fiction. Gothic fiction was said to have died out by this time, having lost much popularity as an established genre, being replaced by historical romance as popularized by Sir Walter Scott. However, readers and cr itics had begun to think that they had greatly overlooked many of the established works and in fact, Gothic fiction had begun to ascend into its most creative period (Gothic fiction). Between 1816 and 1820, Poe had switched from many schools in England and lived away from his foster family. In 1826, Poe entered the University of Virginia. Though he e xcelled there academically, he was forced to leave the university after only a year due to unpaid gambling debts (Polito). Poe enlisted in the United States Army in 1827 and it was here that he published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems, but it did not get much attention publically or critically (Quinn 129). While serving in the Army, Poe¶s unofficial adoptive mother (Poe was never officially adopted by the Allans) Frances Allan, died and Po e made a visit to Richmond the day after her burial (Edgar Allan Poe - Wikipedia). After only serving two o ut of his enlisted five years in the United States Army, Poe was discharged from his position and moved to Baltimore where he stayed with his aunt, Maria Clemm, and her c hildren (Polito). During his stay with his aunt, Poe published his second book, Al Araaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, in December 1829 (Quinn 156). This book also received little recognition (Quinn 165).
Shew3 Poe was enlisted into West Point in March o f 1830 but did not stay even a year. He got himself court-martialed and dismissed in February of 1831 (Quinn 174). In February 1831, Poe re leased a third volume of poems which was simply entitled Poems. This volume was dedicated to ³The U.S. Corps of Cadets´ as a thank you for many cadets¶ help in funding the publication for the book; many of Poe¶s fellow cadets donated 75 cents to the cause (Quinn 176). Poe started his publishing career after he left the military and in 1835 he beca me the editor for the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. He brought with him his aunt and his 12-year old cousin Virginia Clemm, whom he married in 1836 (Edgar Allan Poe). It was during his time as assistant editor for the Messenger that Poe began to grow as a writer and over the next ten years he came t o edit many literary journals such as Burton¶s Gentleman¶s Magazine and Graham¶s Magazine both of which were based in Philadelphia. Poe also edited the Broadway Journal in New York (Polito). Through this time, even thoug h he was getting a great deal of work, Poe was still financially insecure, but he continued to write and his works were becoming recognized and praised which helped further his reputation (Edgar Allan Poe). Also during this time, Poe published some o f his best known works such as ³The Fall o f the House of Usher´, ³The Tale Tell Heart´, and ³The Raven´ (Polito). Poe¶s wife, Virginia Clemm first showed signs of tuberculosis, formerly known as consumption, in 1842. Under stress from Virginia¶s illness, Poe bega n to drink heavily and fell into a state of depression (Polito). When the Broadway Journal fell through in 1846, Poe and Virginia moved to a cottage in The Bronx, New York (now known as ³Poe Cottage´) where Virginia died on January 30, 1847 (Edgar Allan Poe ± Wikipedia). Poe¶s death is, to this day, still under conjecture. There are too many unknown facts to be a hundred percent positive as to exactly how Poe died. What is known, however, is that Poe was
Shew4 found on the streets of Baltimore on October 3 1949, delirious and drunk. He was taken to Washington College Hospital where he died at 5:00 October 7. What is odd though, is that Poe was found wearing clothes that were not his own and the few times Poe was conscious in the hospital, he would yell out ³Reynolds!´ though the meaning to the name is unclear (Quinn 639640). Edgar Allan Poe¶s last words before he died were, ³God help my poor soul!´ Edgar Allan Poe¶s writings and works left a remarkable impact on both American and international literature, and more specifically in the genres o f horror and detective fiction (Polito). Poe is often credited for being the ³architect´ of the modern short story. The p hrase ³art for art¶s sake´ came from Poe¶s tenacity to critique the effect of style and structure of a literary work (Polito). Poe¶s works became figureheads in international literature when Charles Baudelaire translated Poe¶s stories into French, which is why Poe is dutifully respected in France th
(Edgar Allan Poe ± Wikipedia). He was one of the first American authors of the 19 century to become more popular in Euro pe than in the United States (Edgar Allan Poe ± Wikipedia). The fictitious C. Auguste Duplinfrom Poe¶s early detective fiction tales, was t he basis for literature¶s future detectives ± a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Do yle, ³Each is a root from which a whole literature has developed«. Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?´ (Edgar Allan Poe ± Wikipedia). Poe is still read in today¶s classrooms not just because his writing is renowned, but also because there is something in his writing for everyo ne. Not all of his works are dark, dreary and utterly confusing. Some of his works contain joy, passion, and hope (Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore). Poe¶s use of technique and control of words is able to appeal to his every reader. The reason Poe is still studied is that through his writing, the reader is able to understand him or
Shew5 herself more. The reader is able to enter and be a part of Poe¶s stories and they are reinvented inside of us all.
Shew6 Works Cited "Edgar Allan Poe." Mystery Net.com: Online mysteries, mystery games, mystery books. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . "Edgar Allan Poe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . "Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - General Topics - Edgar Allan Poe's Enduring
Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - The Life and Writings of Edgar Allan Poe.N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . "Gothic fiction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia."Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . Polito, Robert. "Edgar Allan Poe- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More."Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More.N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2011. . Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe, a critical biography, . New York: D. AppletonCentury Co., 1941. Print.