Happy Birthday Edgar Allan Poe: Gothic Dreamer (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849)
On this day in 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts a baby boy named Edgar was born to David Poe Jr. and Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins both actors themselves. Weaving a thread of sickness, death, and abandonment throughout Edgar's life a happy childhood was not to be. You see, his father abandoned his family in 1810 a year after he was born and if that were not enough his mother died on December 8, 1811 probably of Tuberculosis. Happiness and contentment would not last very long in Edgar's life setting up a lifetime of experiences to draw upon when writing his tales of Gothic and Horror. For instance when you read such classics as, 'The Tell Tale Heart', 'The Pit and the Pendulum', 'The Murders in the Rue Morgue', or read his achingly sad and mournfully yearning poems, 'Annabel Lee' 'Eulalie','Alone', 'A Dream Within A Dream','Bridal Ballad', its all there; Poe's life laid out before you in his plots and characters!
Edgar Allan Poe's mother- Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins, performing on stage behind the footlights. Undated by Ross, William Charles, Sir, 1794-1860
@Harry Ransom Center The University of Texas at Austin, From the William H. Koester Collection.
To My Mother by Edgar Allan Poe
Because I feel that, in the Heavens above, The angels, whispering to one another, Can find, among their burning terms of love, None so devotional as that of "Mother," Therefore by that dear name I long have called you- You who are more than mother unto me, And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you In setting my Virginia's spirit free. My mother- my own mother, who died early, Was but the mother of myself; but you Are mother to the one I loved so dearly, And thus are dearer than the mother I knew By that infinity with which my wife Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.
Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe Print (etching). Swirling background of portrait includes The Raven, Annabel Lee, and the winged demon from Poe's works. Undated by Learned, Arthur Garfield, 1872-1959 From the William H. Koester Collection. @Harry Ransom Center The University of Texas at Austin.
In my research, I have come across the handwritten copy of a poem dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe written by John Erskine (October 5, 1879 – June 2, 1951). He was a composer, author, educator from New York City. I also found the typed up version in Collected Poems 1907-1922 by John Erskine. I wanted to share both here with you, so don't worry if you cannot read the handwriting!