Poe, Edgar A. 1809 - 1849 (40)

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.


The raven

Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet and novelist who influenced the writing of horror stories and fantasy literature. Born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, his parents were actors. His father abandoned them in 1811 and after five months he died while his mother suffered from tuberculosis and died some months later. He was given to a wealthy merchandiser named John Allan, he grew up with his family in Richmond, Virginia. In 1815 the family moved to England where they lived for five years. They returned to Richmond and in 1826 Alan was written at the University of Virginia. He studied only for one year and in 1827 he joined the army in order to win his bread as he had come into conflict with his stepfather and had left the house. It seems that John Allan was always violent to Poe, but their final quarrel was about Poe’s debts that had accumulated by playing cards and for neglecting his studies. During 1827 the first collection of poetry was published and in 1829 the second. In 1830 he joined the military academy «West Point» after exhortations of John Allan. He stayed only for few months and then he provoked his expulsion. He moved to Baltimore to live with his aunt Maria Eliza Clement and his 8 year old cousin Virginia. He started writing stories for magazine and participates in literature competitions. He won a first prize in 1835 with the story “Message in a bottle” n writing competitions, in 1833 won his story "Message in the bottle." In December 1835 he got a job as a newspaper editor and married his 13 years old at that time cousin, with a false certificate showing her 21.

In the following years he lived in Philadelphia and New York, he worked as an editor and assistant editor for several journals and published police and terror stories, poems and articles gaining increasing fame. In 1842 his wife showed symptoms of tuberculosis, and he began to drink. In 1845 he published the poem “Raven" which gave him great fame and the opportunity to be invited to giving lectures and earn enough money. In 1847 Virginia died and he had suicidal tendencies and became addicted to alcohol and opium. The following year he engaged poet Sarah Helen Whitman but their marriage was annulled because of his alcoholism, her mother, who never liked him, he managed to separate them. Poe returned to Richmond after a suicide attempt with laudanum and got engaged to Mary Clement setting the 17 October, 1849, as wedding date. On 18 September he made a trip to Philadelphia for business. His tracks were lost and he was found in a delirious state on the streets of Baltimore, wearing foreign clothes and talking incomprehensibly. He was taken to hospital where he died on October 7. It is not clear the cause of his death, though he died due to alcohol or some drug, while other theories talked about possible syphilis, epilepsy, poisoning, or murder. His last words were: “Lord help my poor soul”.