The author of the legendary poem “The Raven” is quite possibly one of America’s most famous writers. When you Google the very name Edgar, Edgar A. Poe’s name is the most searched for item and he shows up as the first person on the list. This is quite a feat for a man who has been dead for over 161 years. Poe is still a household name, and his short stories and poems have passed the test of time.
Poe was born in Boston Massachusetts, however a year after his birth Poe’s father abandoned the family, and his mother “died a year later from consumption” (Edgar A. Poe Wikipedia).
“Consumption, also known as tuberculosis”, would play a large part in Poe’s life and legacy (Aldridge).
Poe was then taken into the home of John and Frances Allan whose residence was located in Richmond, Virginia. John had a habit of being tough on Poe, and Frances had a habit of spoiling him. However in 1829 Frances Allan died from consumption. Poe had now lost two mothers to the deadly disease (Liukkonen).
After a small unsuccessful stint in the military Poe embarked to become one of the first American writers to succeed solely on his literature as a source of income. However Poe was quite unsuccessful. Despite this Poe married his 13 year old Cousin Virginia Clemm. Clemm showed signs of consumption soon after “while singing and playing the piano. Poe described it as breaking a blood vessel in her throat” (Edgar A. Poe Wikipedia).
... . Two years later he and Virginia were married; Edgar was twenty-four ... of poetry, Edgar moved to Baltimore and moved in with his aunt, Maria Poe Clem m, and her eleven-year-old daughter Virginia ... ; in fact, Poe described his relationship with her as his first "ideal' love (Campbell, 18). About a year after Edgar became so attached ...
Once Virginia became ill Poe’s life itself began to crumble. Poe knew the outcome of his wife’s illness was an unavoidable death, as there was no cure to consumption at the time. Not only had the disease taken his mother, but it was now taking the very woman he wished to spend his life with. After her death Poe wrote perhaps his most popular work “The Raven”.
“The Raven” is a short poem which mainly consists of a man encountering a raven who reminds him of his dead love named Lenore. And from this poem forth Poe uses death in almost every aspect of his poems and stories. This poem symbolizes the thoughts and feelings that Poe has for his wife Virginia, and both his mother and stepmother. All of these women were beautiful to Poe, and they all died relatively young.
Only two years after “The Raven” is released Virginia dies “But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er, She shall press, ah, nevermore!” (Poe).
The one thing left that Poe had dear to his heart was taken by the very disease that had claimed his mother and his foster mother, and with no one to talk to Poe chose to express his feelings through his literature, which he begins to work at with an earnest gusto which he lacked before (Liukkonen).
Poe is then shot into a state of depression “Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!’ Quoth the raven, `Nevermore” (Poe).
This attributes to Poe’s repeating theme of “the death of a beautiful woman”. Poe then began to drink heavily and eventually died as he had lived the majority of his life, emotionally secluded and drunk. He was found passed out on the streets, laying in a gutter in the cold, and he soon after passed away.
Poe lived a tragic life of sorrow, and he wove every bit of it into his literary works “ Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!’Quoth the raven, `Nevermore” (Poe).
However Poe is not the only famous American writer to suffer from a rough life. William Faulkner one of America’s most notable writers “never graduated from high school, never received a college degree…and impending financial ruin, could during the Great Depression write a series of novels” (Padgett).
It seems that a rough life leads to successful ventures as evidenced by the legendary status that both Poe and Faulkner were able to attain despite the adversities they faced. The success of “The Raven” allowed America a look into the sorrow of someone else’s life. He expressed himself in a genre that captivated the American public’s eyes, as a window into the soul of a defeated man. Because of his tragic life, and his mastery of the Gothic style of literature, Poe will forever be a renowned writer in America.
... taken unconscious to a hospital where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849. He was buried in the yard of Westminster ... Raven" that is very strange like most of the poems he wrote. Edgar Allan Poe had a devastating childhood and a dark life ... name of Edgar Poe. His father soon abandoned Poe and his fate is unknown. When Poe was two years old his mother died. John ...
Aldridge, Vanessa. Ask Yahoo. 17 April 2002. 29 october 2010 <//ask.yahoo.com/20020417.html>.
Edgar A. Poe Wikipedia. 2010. 23 October 2010 <//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_Allan_Poe>.
Liukkonen, Petri. Poe Bio. 2008. 29 October 2010 <//www.kirjasto.sci.fi/eapoe.htm>.
Padgett, John B. The Mississippi Writers Page. 11 November 2008. 30 October 2010 <//www.olemiss.edu/mwp/dir/faulkner_william/>.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven. 1845 29 January. 23 October 2010 <//www.heise.de/ix/raven/Literature/Lore/TheRaven.html>.