beliefs : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

was poe ever believed to be a devil worshiper. a demonic man etc.etc.

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2003


Not really. Some felt that his "Eureka" (1848) was pantheistic, and others considered him an atheist, but neither claim is entirely true. Poe was never a devotee of the Devil or a pursuer of black arts. He was too intelligent to believe in such things.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2003

Poe was a clean cut all-American southern boy compared to Byron, whose work he admired and imitated. Don't identify a writer with the genre conventions and trends of the day and faraway contemporaries with crazier reputations. Poe was amazingly unique and removed from detailed beliefs of any sort even for the normal deist attitude of many Americans. Non-denomination, nominal Christian, not politically allied, totally, more than even some of the great Romantics, devoted to his seminal vision. That vision in pre-verbal youthful revelation is described in "Alone" seen as his normal poetic muse in the deceptively simple "The Lake" in the additions to his mature version.

A Muse is not a God but a source of artistic and emotional inspiration, a place of peace and creativity and peculiar to Poe alone. But it's all he really had and all on earth he was permitted to know, as passionate or hopeful he was for more after death. The limits of art, life and experience, the change from life to memories and loss and his attempt to synthesize art and science into a personal belief("Eureka")show Poe very much concerned with the broadest issues of reality. No pat answers, no lasting theories or consolations, no relief from loss or doubt, no formulaic religon. Definitely NO deep superstition or arcane mysticism no matter how titllating and intriguing they might seem related to his life and interests.

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2003

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