poetry concerning suicide

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any information on poems or short story on suicide?

-- Anonymous, February 26, 2003


Try "The Lake. To ---" (1827, and its later variants) for example (available on line at www.eapoe.org), but be x-tremely prudent, because Poe liked to suggest rather than to be "expliciting". In prose, the best attempt would be perhaps "William Wilson", though, here again, in an unexpected way... Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2003

"The Assignation" takes his own lovelife disappointment to the extreme of double suicide- artistically speaking of course. It was meant as some way or breaching the unnatural separation of the depressed ex-lovers beyond their sad life. It takes two to tango for that and I don't believe in his wildest imagination Poe was proposing anything but to express his feelings by working it out through a dark romantic, Byronic tale. Poe tried one false,attention-getting attempt no one took seriously. Reviewers of "The Lake" were not offended,nor saw suicide advocated there. In fact, Poe left out telling the real legend of the lake and the drowned lovers. Happy or not, Poe was extremely faithful to his melancholy source of inspiration. If he often couldn't get off the floor like the narrator of "The Raven" he never by action looked for an escape. See the raw defiance of "Annabel Lee" as life negating as the final verses might seem to be. It is at the point of the dark boundary where Poe takes his stand,and no farther. In "The Oblong Box" the lover jumps out after the coffin. Death is incidental to this obsessive connection. Why did Porspero build in symbols of death and time in his escapist castle? Read "The Imp of the Perverse" for the closest thing you have for Poe's appreciation of the paradox of self-destructive acts. Vertigo and the abyss figure largely in Poe's ultimate emotions(Maelstrom, Pym, Eureka). Some good articles on that online at poedecoder or www.eapoe.org?

Dr. Sartain at one point in Poe's desperate state after losing his wife was afraid Poe was leaning out over a water reservoir as if about to let his sense of vertigo take over. But nothing happened. Poe was desperate to live while unable to rid himself of ghosts, bad habits and constant disappointments. Above all, his heros and insights clung to the giddy experience at the exciting and terrible boundaries with their shadowy mysteires. Experiencing such meant more than the consequences.

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2003

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