Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Write Stuff Wednesday

Today's Write Stuff is all about Poe (1809-1849). A week after the anniversary of his death (typically belated as I am), and right in the heart of October, is the perfect time to think about Poe and all he did for Poe-try... and prose!

The first time I studied the Tell-Tale Heart, I heard hearts beating everywhere for days (True!) and learned the tough lesson that Poe had a way of getting under my skin. A great gift for an author to affect a reader, but not much fun for wimpy me! In years since, I've come to appreciate the work as well as the man known best for his gloomy themes.

Here's Vincent Price enacting the Tell-Tale Heart by E.A. Poe

Growing up I associated Poe geographically with Boston and the Northeast, but living in South Carolina I've learned he was actually stationed here - under an alias he used to enlist in the US Army. Rumors abound about his life, his inspirations and his death - even (or especially) after all this time. Supposedly the woman who inspired the poem Annabel Lee is buried in Charleston. Of course many people have analyzed the poem and claimed it was about his wife, while at least two other women claimed to have been the spark for that piece - and that Poe said so himself. Hmmm, one wonders if the man was an accomplished charmer for all his spooky stylings.

Most budding authors are warned that while Poe was a literary genius from which entire genres of literature sprouted, we should avoid his drinking and/or drug habit when crafting our own tales. This IS solid advice as the publishing world has changed in the one hundred sixty years since Poe's death and being sober certainly aids in successful networking and marketing!

So what's your favorite piece of Poe-try or Prose from this notoriously accomplished author and editor?

Wishing you much writing this Wednesday - spooky or otherwise!


  1. I love his story The Cask of Amontillado! Definitely one of his best!

    Great blog!