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Lo! 'tis a gala night...

Posted on 2009.01.19 at 01:51

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

200 years today since the birth of Mr. Poe,  the father of the modern detective story, the modern horror story, and the master of the American Gothic tradition.  Pause and gaze into his eyes--what do you see?  Perhaps you'll find a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief, a genius, haunted not so much by lack of recognition, but by the agonizing loss of wife, Virginia Clemm, who died a year before this famous portrait was taken.   In life and death she was his muse, his sine qua non.  The tragedy and truth of Poe is that our greatest achievements are born out of love, our bright shining moments and epiphanies of horror.    When mortality becomes personal, and the frail cocoon of life is rent before our eyes, only then do we finally glimpse immortality.   Art is a transcription of that revelation.

So today light a candle for Mr. Poe, set aside a few hours and immerse yourself in his words.   Better yet, read them aloud, and listen to each syllable as it flys from your lips, feel the rhythm and hear the sibilance like rustling leaves .  Let the master cast his wordspell upon you.   As a special tribute, here's a link to Vincent Price reading "The Raven."

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