rabies and cholera…

“Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it…”




i’m not great with poetry and prose and elizabethan english, but a poet who comes to mind and has always made for an  interesting read is poe. just a few bits and pieces about him. and yes, the chaplinesque photograph above is the man himself. 

edgar allan poe, (january 19, 1809 – october 7, 1849)

poet…critic…big daddy of the macabre…dark romanticist…goth…cryptographer…

cause of death : unknown.

possible reasons attributed to cholera, brain congestion, drugs, rabies, TB and/ or suicide

may have been named after a character in king lear

married his 13 year old cousin after his first wife’s death

disliked didacticism and allegorical theories

many of his themes for stories and prose revolved around death – the effects of decomposition on the body, reanimation of the dead, mourning and premature burial (live burial is one of the most widespread human fears).

poe’s essay titled Eureka: A prose poem, talks about the idea of the birth of the universe. written in 1848, it pre-dated the big-bang theory by over 80 years.

possible contemporary influences include filmmakers tim burton, david fincher and writer irvine welsh, among others…

And finally, one of Poe’s poems was dedicated to someone called Annie…puts a whole new spin on the John Denver song…!

  For Annie

Thank Heaven! the crisis-
The danger is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last-
And the fever called “Living”
Is conquered at last.
Sadly, I know
I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
As I lie at full length-
But no matter!-I feel
I am better at length.
And I rest so composedly,
Now, in my bed
That any beholder
Might fancy me dead-
Might start at beholding me,
Thinking me dead.

The moaning and groaning,
The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
With that horrible throbbing
At heart:- ah, that horrible,
Horrible throbbing!

The sickness- the nausea-
The pitiless pain-
Have ceased, with the fever
That maddened my brain-
With the fever called “Living”
That burned in my brain.

And oh! of all tortures
That torture the worst
Has abated- the terrible
Torture of thirst
For the naphthaline river
Of Passion accurst:-
I have drunk of a water
That quenches all thirst:-

Of a water that flows,
With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
Feet under ground-
From a cavern not very far
Down under ground.

And ah! let it never
Be foolishly said
That my room it is gloomy
And narrow my bed;
For man never slept
In a different bed-
And, to sleep, you must slumber
In just such a bed.

My tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
Regretting its roses-
Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses:

For now, while so quietly
Lying, it fancies
A holier odor
About it, of pansies-
A rosemary odor,
Commingled with pansies-
With rue and the beautiful
Puritan pansies.

And so it lies happily,
Bathing in many
A dream of the truth
And the beauty of Annie-
Drowned in a bath
Of the tresses of Annie.

She tenderly kissed me,
She fondly caressed,
And then I fell gently
To sleep on her breast-
Deeply to sleep
From the heaven of her breast.

When the light was extinguished,
She covered me warm,
And she prayed to the angels
To keep me from harm-
To the queen of the angels
To shield me from harm.

And I lie so composedly,
Now, in my bed,
(Knowing her love)
That you fancy me dead-
And I rest so contentedly,
Now, in my bed,
(With her love at my breast)
That you fancy me dead-
That you shudder to look at me,
Thinking me dead.

But my heart it is brighter
Than all of the many
Stars in the sky,
For it sparkles with Annie-
It glows with the light
Of the love of my Annie-
With the thought of the light
Of the eyes of my Annie.




photograph of edgar allan poe taken in 1848 by W. S. Hartshorn  



~ by mentalsyrup on January 15, 2009.

One Response to “rabies and cholera…”

  1. my class thinks Poe is “spooky” and “strange”:)
    what do you think Poe was thinking when he was photographed for this one?

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