Never More! The first time I heard this poem was from the most unlikely source, The Simpsons. Lisa Simpson was reading out a scary poem to Bart Simpson. This was her turn to tell a scary story and she chose the classic by the American Author Edgar Allen Poe.
Edgar Allen Poe was the first author to have touch the genre of crime/detective novel. This was decades before our beloved Sherlock Holmes was introduced to the world.
Edgar Allen Poe was orphaned at an early age and his relationship with his foster family was strain to say the least.Edgar Allen Poe then moved to Baltmore where he met and fell in love with his cousin. Yes,cousin. Incest was probably the norm back then. Even in certain parts of the world it is still a common practise. Her name was Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe. Virginia was only thirteen years old when she married Edgar Allen Poe who was twenty six years old then. The nearly twice age gap was the least of their problems.
Biographers have tried really hard to clear up his name by establishing that the couple’s relationship was not physical but more of a companion level.”Though their marriage was loving, some biographers suggest they viewed one another more like a brother and sister.”, according to some of them. We can gladly move past those assumptions and discuss how their relationship was and how it affected Edgar Allen Poe’s literary career.
Edgar Allen Poe and his wife had to travel a lot to keep up with his carrer. This included Baltimore,Philadelphia and New York. The wandering life also brought stories that wandered around with Poe’s fidelity. This issue was brought forth with two other women in his life, Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet. The rumours associated were so powerful that on her deathbed Virginia,Edgar’s wife said Ellet had murdered her.
After Virginia died,her grave was place under the same memorial marker as that of her husband’s who was to die too. Poe,after the death of Virginia was totally devastated. Like most depressed men, he sought refuge in a depressant, alcohol. This coping mechanism had a dastardly effect on him.Her suffering and disease are seen to be a driving factor in his later works.
“Annabel Lee”, “The Raven”, and “Ligeia” all of them were products of his wife’s death due to tuberculosis.
If not for her unfortunate death, we wouldn’t have The Raven. It s surprising how someone else’s agony brings us pleasure. This pleasure might be derived from the feeling that our lives are better off than theirs.
Incest and Pedophile, both those aspects might have been the truth of the relationship between Edgar Allen Poe and Virginia. Nevertheless, we must not write him off as a creep as his enemy who wrote his biography wanted him to be remembered. We have something better to remember him by:a poem by his wife Virginia.
Ever with thee I wish to roam —
Dearest my life is thine.
Give me a cottage for my home
And a rich old cypress vine,
Removed from the world with its sin and care
And the tattling of many tongues.
Love alone shall guide us when we are there —
Love shall heal my weakened lungs;
And Oh, the tranquil hours we’ll spend,
Never wishing that others may see!
Perfect ease we’ll enjoy, without thinking to lend
Ourselves to the world and its glee —
Ever peaceful and blissful we’ll be.
That is how we shall remember this troubled writer and author who introduced us to the world of macabre (murder mystery)
Hoffman, Daniel. Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1972. ISBN 0-8071-2321-8.
Krutch, Joseph Wood. Edgar Allan Poe: A Study in Genius. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1926.
Author: The Brown Nomad
Also published on Medium.