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The Poe connection: Major literary contributions

Tom Wolfe, in his best selling novel, "The Bonfire of the Vanities" (1987), entitled one chapter, The Masque of the Red Death, drawing upon the AIDS epidemic in relation to our own inevitable date with destiny.

Two major television biographies on Poe have premiered on the A&E (1994) and PBS (1995) networks. Television animation saluted the genius of Poe with an inspired parody of The Raven, in "The Simpsons" Halloween Special (1990). The narration was performed by actor, James Earl Jones.

The critically acclaimed author, Joyce Carol Oates, chose the title of her novel, "My Heart Laid Bare," (1998) directly from one of Poe’s Marginalia essays. She later paid homage to Poe in her collection of horror fiction, "The Collection of Hearts: New Tales of the Grotesque."

For years, Poe’s influence has transcended literature into other forms. Specifically, his works serve as an inspiration in musical compositions, as well as dance. Composer Philip Glass considers Poe the perfect collaborator. He successfully transformed "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "A Descent into the Maelstrom" into opera. Entire rock albums have been devoted to Poe, and a current female rock singer identifies herself simply as Poe.

Recitals of Poe’s works have always been a perennial favorite, particularly at Halloween. They are issued regularly in a variety of audio formats. The readers have run the spectrum, from Basil Rathbone, to Gregory Hines, to Iggy Pop. Oscar and Emmy nominated actor, John Astin, best known from "The Addams Family" television series, has portrayed Poe in well received one man theatrical performances of Edgar Allan Poe—Once Upon a Midnight, on tours in major cities throughout the country.

The United States Naval Academy has offered a seminar on Poe as part of the English curriculum. Discussion centered on a wide range of topics including his social life, works, criticism and genealogy.

Edgar Allan Poe has become the first literary man to enter the arena of professional sports. In 1995, a local survey by the Baltimore Sun newspaper was conducted among Baltimoreans to name their new football team. They were given choices which included the names, Marauders and Americans. Over 33,000 people voted. Approximately 5,500 people chose the Marauders. A similar number (5,597) picked the Americans and 21,108 selected the Ravens. The city of Baltimore chose the overall winner, Baltimore Ravens, saluting Poe’s most famous poem.

The Mystery Writers of America, Inc. established an award in 1945 to recognize outstanding contributions for various categories of mystery, crime and suspense writing. These awards are known as The Edgar Allan Poe Awards. The winners receive a statuette that is appropriately called an Edgar.

This coming year should enhance the Poe legend. A major motion picture, "The Raven," is currently scheduled for release in March 2012. Actor, John Cusack will portray the master of the macabre.

Poe’s Memorable Poetry Quotations

"The Raven"

Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.

"Annabel Lee"

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

"The Conqueror Worm"

And the angels all pallid and wan,

Uprising, unveiling, affirm

That the play is the tragedy “Man,

And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

"A Dream Within a Dream"

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?


Out of Space - out of Time


Over the Mountains

Of the Moon,

Down the Valley of the Shadow,

Ride, boldly ride,

The shade replied, -

If you seek for Eldorado!

"To Helen"

To the glory that was Greece

And the grandeur that was Rome.

Poe Museums/Historic Homes/Academia/Gravesite

Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

East Kingsbridge Road & Grand Concourse

Bronx, New York 10458

The Edgar Allan Poe House

North Seventh & Spring Garden Sts.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123

The Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum

North Amity Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Westminster Presbyterian Hall (Cemetery)

Fayette & Greene Sts.

Baltimore, Maryland 21202

(Poe’s gravesite)

Poe Museum

1914-16 East Main Street

Richmond, Virginia 23223

The Poe Room - # 13 West Range

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia 22906

(Poe’s room at the University is glass enclosed and under the direction of the Raven Society.)

Poe Sources And Recommended Readings

"The Poe Log," by Thomas and Jackson - G.K. Hall & Co. (1987)

"Edgar Allan Poe," by Vincent Buranelli - Twayne Publishers, Inc. (1961)

"The Tell Tale Heart," by Julian Symons - Harper & Rowe (1978)

"Edgar Allan Poe, His Life and Legacy," by Jeffrey Meyers - Scribners (1992)

"The Portable Poe." Edited by Philip Van Doren Stern - Viking Portable Library (1945,1973) Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe, by Daniel Hoffman - Double Day (1972)

"Edgar A. Poe, Mournful And Never-Ending Remembrance" by Kenneth Silverman - Harper Collins (1991)

"Poe, A Biography" by William Bittner - Atlantic-Little, Brown (1962)

"Edgar Allan Poe" by Bettina L. Knapp - Continuum (1984)

"The Poe Encyclopedia" by Frank N. Magistrale - Greenwood (1997)

"An Edgar Allan Poe Companion" by JR Hammond - Barnes & Noble (1981)

"The Annotated Tales Of E. A. Poe" Edited by Stephen Peithman - Doubleday (1981)

"Edgar Allan Poe, A Critical Biography, by Arthur Hobson Quinn" - Appleton - Century (1941)

"The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe" by Marie Bonaparte - Imago (First English Edition (1949)

Comments (3)
3 Tuesday, 01 November 2011 17:16
its was a pretty good article..
thanks for writing it,
good job! :)
2 Monday, 31 October 2011 16:25
John Esposito
Dan, Many thanks. I'm pleased you enjoyed the article.
Best regards, John
1 Sunday, 30 October 2011 18:22
Dan Currie
Bravo, Mr. Esposito!

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