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Edgar Allan PoeI'm reading a volume of stories The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe which is more a type of adventurous fantasy, hoax balloon journeys (one to the moon), storms at sea with maelstroms and two referencing mesmerism. The earliest forms of these writings were all published in periodicals or newspapers and vary from straight reportage to very dense almost suffocating detail. As it's almost fifty years since I read some of Poe's tales and poetry at school, I remember enjoying them, I have no detailed recollection of their quality.
I have put it aside for now to have 'a change' but does anyone have an opinion on Poe's body of work?
I've only read a few stories of his (the obvious ones like The Pit and the Pendulum, The Fall of the House of Usher, etc.), but have enjoyed what I've read. Not read neary enough to have an opinion on the body of work though!
I am sure there must be a gaggle of correspondent waiting to publish what I consider to be the most moving poem that I know.
Author: Edgar Allan Poe
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love -
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me
Yes! that was the reason
(as all men know, In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In the sepulcher there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.
That is lovely. I do wonder is Poe's verse greater than his prose?
Might I recommend Poe's novel 'The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket'? Readable and rather unusual.
This is a very unusual short story by Poe called Silence. I just came upon it about 25 years ago because it has a quote in Greek at the beginning by Alcman.
And this website is wonderful from the International Edgar Allen Poe Society:
And here's Basil Rathbone reading The Raven - what could be better!