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! 


Laura Morrigan said…
I love that drawing of Poe with all his nightmarish stories behind him! I wonder if you could see all my stories and ideas what it would look like! I like the idea very much!

Ah, such a wonderful poet and writer! I think that ghastly one about teeth is one of the stories that sticks with me the most!
Kimberly Eve said…
I know that drawing of Poe is amazing! I wonder what he would have thought if he knew how much he is loved still today? Thanks for visiting, Laura!