And a Raven in a Pear Tree

Edgar Allan Poe

“Quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore.'” (1
“One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture…” (2)

These and other famous lines bring out the dark genius of Edgar Allan Poe, 19th century American poet, short story writer, and critic. 

In 2009, America will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Poe’s birth. 

Poe’s ongoing popularity will be especially visible this year. (See this article for a listing of bicentennial celebrations.) Along with former president Abraham Lincoln, Poe was chosen for a 2009 USPS commemorative stamp.

2009 also rings in a controversy over the final resting place of the author’s remains, which are currently interred in Baltimore. Scholars from Philadelphia, Boston, and other cities influential to Poe’s life have argued – some sarcastic, some serious – that Poe’s bones should be moved to their own cities. (Read the story here.)

Poe once wrote, “You are aware of the great barrier in the path of an American writer. He is read, if at all, in preference to the combined and established wit of the world. I say established; for it is with literature as with law or empire — an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.”(3)

In 2009, it seems that the enduring quality of Poe’s “established name” will be proven once again.

Happy New Year!!!


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