Ever wonder what inspired Edgar Allan Poe?
Edgar Allan Poe's heart was in poetry.
He expressed his feelings in his poetry. But then, as now, there was little money in poetry.
He is remembered as a short story writer, a poet, an essayist, and a critic,
but he earned much of his income as an editor.
He filled up pages of the magazines he edited with his own writings,
and he was so intelligent and so gifted that the magazines he edited prospered.
He would have had no serious financial problems if he hadn't had a drinking problem.
If you check the first paragraph of "The Cask of Amontillado,"
you will find that each sentence is constructed so that the most important word comes at the end.
The last words are: "revenge," "threat," "risk," and "impunity."
Poe's life had many hardships that inspired his work.
Readers can clearly see the connection to Poe and the other people in his life
to the characters in his poems and stories.
Many of Poe's works may seem normal at first, but almost always end in tragedy, just as his life did.
The inspiration to Poe's darkest and most well known poem, written in 1845,
was a real raven that was the beloved pet of the writer Charles Dickens who named it Grip.
Dickens was fascinated by the behaviors of his pet and kept it in his stables to study it.
Dickens had been impressed by how intelligent and aggressive the bird was.
Dickens also taught his raven to speak, just like a parrot,
which is also what interested Poe the most and acted as a direct influence for his story "The Raven."
One of the major inspirations of Poe's career was his wife Virginia, as well as her death.
Coming from her death came some of his most well known poems.
In my THE RIVAL,
Edgar Allan Poe is Victor Standish's rival for the affection of the ghoul, Alice Wentworth,
as the two lovers find themselves trapped in 1834 New Orleans.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE:
Poe emulated Coleridge in musicality and vision, also writing about him, and also tried to analyze and advance a theory of poetics and practice in short essays.
MOTHERS and TUBERCULOSIS:
When Poe was a small child, his mother died from consumption. (Tuberculosis.)
The symptoms of TB include a lot of coughing up of blood.
Imagine how traumatic that would be for a small child to witness.
After the death of his mother, he was adopted into another family.
Years later, his beloved foster mother contracted and died from the SAME disease.
Edgar later fell in love and married his 13 year old first cousin, Virginia Clemm.
As illegal as that would be today,
by ALL accounts they were deeply in love and very happily married.
She was all the world to him.
When she was about 18 years old, she was giving a performance on the piano and singing,
when she coughed and a drop of blood came out of her mouth.
Edgar realized to his horror that she had contracted the same disease
that every woman he had ever cared about had suffered and died from.
Virginia suffered terribly from the disease for seven years, before finally succumbing and dying.
Edgar could hardly bear her loss.
In 1849, Edgar wrote "To My Mother":
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;
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.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WRITING?