Reflection on Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? This quote shows how Edgar Allan Poe was obsessed with life and death because in it he explains that life and death is best left shadowy and vague. This means that life and death should be left a mystery. His obsession started when he lost all of the important people in his life. Edgar was born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was an orphan at a young age and taken in by his foster parents John Allan and Frances Allan. Poe grew to become one of the most known and respected writers in American history. Edgar Allan Poe mostly wrote horror and mystery stories and poems which were mostly inspired by his tragic life. In the poem Spirits of the Dead Poe questioned where people go when they die. However, in the poem The Raven Poe questions whether he is going to hell and if he will ever see his family members again. In the story The Masque of The Red Death, Poe writes about how you cannot cheat death. Poe was a misunderstood man who was constantly questioning the concept of Heaven and Hell.

Edgar Allan Poe lost many people in a short time including his mother, his foster mother, and his wife. This influenced Poe to write poems and stories about his loved ones, one story being Spirits of The Dead. This poem questions where people go when they die. One quote from Spirits of the Dead is be silent in that solitude which is not loneliness-for then This quote shows that dead people are in solitude and that death, loneliness, and solitude are all different state of being. The poem is about how the main character is at a graveyard and missing his loved one. He questions where the loved one is and when will he see them again. The main character says how the people in earth are around you again in death, when The spirits of the dead who stood In life before thee are again In death around thee This poem relates to Poe when his mom died. When Poe’s mother died, he was only adopted because of Frances. Shortly after he was adopted in 1812, Frances became very ill. John Allan started not to like Edgar because he thought of Edgar as ungrateful. In the book Edgar Allan Poe The Strange Man Standing in the Shadows by Charlotte Montague, John Allan was described as impulsive and quick tempered This often affected Poe when John took his rage out on him. John Allan was a tobacco merchant but Poe had no interest in it. In the article from poemuseum.com it explained that early poetic verses scrawled in a young Poe’s handwriting show how little interest Edgar had in the tobacco business. As Poe grew up, John Allan liked him less and less and soon disowned him after he was discharged from West Point. Edgar then started writing some of his first poems and stories. Poe then heard the news of his foster mother’s death. This was devastating for Poe because Frances was a very important person in his life. She was the only reason Edgar got adopted. She was always kind to him unlike John Allan. Therefore, her death was one of the reasons he wrote Spirits of the Dead. The poem Spirits of the Dead also states that where people go when they die is a mystery of mysteries. When Poe got older he got married to his cousin. He loved his wife a lot but money was always tight as stated in Edgar Allan Poe Museum. However, Virginia, his wife caught tuberculosis which was a disease that infects your lungs. Virginia eventually died, which left Poe devastated and unable to write for months according to poemuseum.com. Therefore, Edgar Allan Poe’s writing was inspired by the death’s of the people closest to him.

Another poem that is about the death of his loved ones is The Raven. In this poem, the setting is the main character’s chamber or bedroom. The poem starts, Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary. This line explains how the day is dreary and that the main character is very tired. It was in a bleak December and he eagerly I/he wished the morrow;-vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow-sorrow for the lost Lenore- This line from the poem explains how the main character is trying to distract his mind with a book so he will not think of Lenore’s death. He was disturbed by a knocking on the window and thought it was Lenore, his dead wife. The main character was terrified when he heard the knocking. The main character thinks, And the silken, sad, uncertain, rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; This line from the poem shows how the main character is thrilled by the curtains. The main character is thrilled because he likes to be scared since nothing exciting happened to him. However the It was a raven that was actually at his window. The main character is very lonely since Lenore died. A line in the poem that supports this is, For the rare and radiant maiden who the angels named Lenore- Nameless here for evermore. The main character starts to ask the raven if he will ever see Lenore again. In the poem Lenore is actually Virginia, Poe’s dead wife, and wants to know if he will ever see Virginia again. The raven says, Nevermore which enrages the speaker. Near the end of the story, he yells at the raven, prophet! Said I, thing of evil-prophet still if bird or devil- This shows how the main character is scared and enraged at the raven, and in this case, death. In the story, the raven symbolizes death. The raven hints that the main character is going to hell, and will never see Lenore again when, Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door! Quoth the raven, Nevermore. This shows how the raven will be with the main character even when he dies. At the end of the poem, the main character dies and writes, And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating in the floor Shall be lifted-nevermore! Poe wrote this poem to question if he will ever see his loved ones again. Poe wanted to know this because he missed all of his loved ones including his mom, his foster mother, and his wife. His writing subjects were based off his hard life. An example being The Tell Tale Heart when the main character takes his rage out on an old man just because of his eye. This rage symbolizes the rage that Poe had on the men in his life. His life affected the way he dressed, which was very formal but very dark. His past life also affected the way he criticized other authors writing. During Poe’s life, he always thought that he was a bad person and was afraid to die. He thought that he was going to hell because of his life choices such as drinking and being very critical to other people’s writing. Poe wrote this poem to express his feelings of never seeing his family again. According to HomeCivicNational News, One by one, everyone he loved (including his foster mother, his older brother, and his young wife Virginia) died before him. This passage shows how Edgar lost all of the important people in his life.However, Edgar Allan Poe wanted to know if he will ever see his loved ones again and if he was going ro hell in The Raven.

The Masque of The Red Death is a story that talks about how you cannot cheat death, because it will come and take you eventually. The story starts off by explaining what the red death was, There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. However, the red death was not real. Poe based it off of the black death and tuberculosis. The story continues by describing Prince Prospero, Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. However, Prince Prospero was selfish because he tried to avoid the red death when he, summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court When the people he called were in his castle, he held a masquerade. The story then explains Prince Prospero’s castle and the different colored rooms, These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened. The different colored rooms represent your lifespan, blue being your birth, purple being your young years, green your teen years and going into adulthood, orange being your early adulthood, white your older years of adulthood, dark purple being your last years of life, and red being death. The waltzers all danced in these rooms but they tried to avoid the red room, But in the western or black chamber the effect of the fire-light that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all There was also a giant ebony clock in the red room.

(conclusion)Poe was found outside a tavern six days later after he left for Philadelphia. He was delirious and drunk. Poe was not in his own clothes when he was found. He was rushed to the hospital and was in and out of consciousness. Four days later he died. There are many theories of why he died. One of the most common theories is he died of a brain tumor. Another theory is that he died of too much alcohol. No one knows the true cause of his death. Despite his untimely death, Edgar Allan Poe brought to light the darkness of his thoughts and his opinion of the afterlife. He questioned concepts that many people are afraid of, and that is why he is one of the most famous writers in American History.

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