Ever since I was a little girl, I have held a deep love for Edgar Allen Poe. His stories, although not always easy for me to understand as a child, were dark and mysterious. They scared me enough to make me check under my bed before I went to sleep.
I love that he took a different turn than most authors of his time by writing stories that critics of his age deemed inappropriate. The topics he chose to write about were too heavy for his time.
Most people will only remember his famous poem, “The Raven.” But that is not the only great work that Poe created, in fact, it does not even begin to display his genius at writing mysteries. Poe was one of the first people to create short stories, most notably, short detective-style stories. Who can forget the great short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart?” I won’t give away the story (you have to read it yourself), but it is pretty intense and it displays the awesome imagination that Poe had.
His short stories cover a variety of creepy subjects such as: murder, revenge, the plague, insanity, and being buried alive. If you are like me, and you enjoy getting freaked out, Poe is the writer for you. He does have quite an extensive vocabulary so prepare to keep a dictionary on hand as you read his stories.
What’s even more interesting about Poe is that, to this day, no one really knows how he died. Some say suicide, some say alcoholism killed him, others say heart disease, but no one is for sure. What a way for a horror, mystery writer to leave the world, huh? His own death is a mystery in itself.
Below is a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. It’s called “Alone.” And I think it shows how Poe felt as a writer trying to pave his way in the world, while no one could really understand him. It gives just a taste of his beautiful writing and deep mind, and shows that he is as dark and mysterious as his own works.
“From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.”