Eulogygreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
i need to write a Eulogy on E.A. Poe, i would like some help on this task. i need some information that would aid in my project. i want this eulogy to make people cry, i want them to "feel" Poe, even the ones that don't really care. if you have any information or any idea's please notify me.
-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004
Here is something from Poe himself.
Edgar A. Poe To Sarah Helen Whitman, October 18, 1848:
“And you ask me why men so misjudge me--why I have enemies. If your knowledge of my character and of my career does not afford you an answer to the query, at least it does not become me to suggest the answer. Let it suffice that I have had the audacity to remain poor that I might preserve my independence--that, nevertheless, in letters, to a certain extent and in certain regards, I have been ‘successful’--that I have been a critic--and unscrupulously honest and no doubt in many cases a bitter one--that I have uniformly attacked--where I attacked at all--those who stood highest in power and influence--and that, whether in literature or in society, I have seldom refrained from expressing, either directly or indirectly, the pure contempt with which the pretensions of ignorance, arrogance, or imbecility inspire me.--And you who know all this--you ask me why I have enemies.” And perhaps a better one. Edgar A. Poe to James Russell Lowell, July 2, 1844: “You speak of ‘an estimate of my life’--and, from what I have already said, you will see that I have none to give. I have been too deeply conscious of the mutability and evanescence of temporal things, to give any continuous effort to anything--to be consistent in anything. My life has been whim--impulse--passion--a longing for solitude--a scorn of all things present, in an earnest desire for the future.”
-- Anonymous, January 20, 2004
Dear Mr. Boyles,
From George Bernard Shaw:
“America has been found out; and Poe had not; that is the situation. How did he live there, this finest of fine artists, this born aristocrat of letters? Alas! he did not live there: he died there, and was duly explained away as a drunkard and a failure... He was the greatest journalistic critic of his time... His poetry is exquisitely refined... In his stories of mystery and imagination Poe created a world record for the English language: perhaps for all languages... unparalleled and unapproached... Poe constantly and inevitably produced magic where his greatest contemporaries produced only beauty... There is really nothing to be said about it; we others simply take off our hats and let Mr. Poe go first.” Other eulogies (on http://www.astin-poe.com/quotes.html):
“Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?” - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
“Poe's genius has conquered a special recognition for itself, and I too have come to fully admit it, and appreciate it and him.” - Walt Whitman “Poe is the prince of American literature.” - Victor Hugo “Poe, the marvelous lord of rhythmic expression.” - Oscar Wilde
---To show what a vital, witty person Poe could be----and then how someone like that got unfairly trashed in the public mind, you might want to visit www.eapoe.org. Then click "General Topics About Poe." Under the link "Bits and Pieces," are quotes that give a sense of him. On eapoe.org, the link "Poe and Griswold" fleshes out how one twisted person (Poe's colleague R. Griswold) was able to "duly explain [Poe] away." To perpetuate a bunch of wild stories, Griswold used forgery, & threatened blackmail. All while making money off Poe's works. More on the Griswold story can be found in "Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance" by Kenneth Silverman. And finally----in light of so many people writing Poe off as just some weird guy---here's a letter of his---most of it a business letter----written a year after his wife's death:
"You say--'Can you hint to me what was the terrible evil" which caused the irregularities so profoundly lamented?' Yes; I can do more than hint. This "evil" was the greatest which can befall a man. Six years ago, a wife, whom I loved as no man ever loved before, ruptured a blood-vessel in singing. Her life was despaired of. I took leave of her forever & underwent all the agonies of her death. She recovered partially and I again hoped. At the end of a year the vessel broke again--I went through precisely the same scene. Again in about a year afterward. Then again--again--again & even once again at varying intervals. Each time I felt all the agonies of her death--and at each accession of the disorder I loved her more dearly & clung to her life with more desperate pertinacity. But I am constitutionally sensitive-- nervous ~n a very unusual degree. I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. During these fits of absolute unconsciousness I drank, God only knows how often or how much. As a matter of course, my enemies referred the insanity to the drink rather than the drink to the insanity. I had indeed, nearly abandoned all hope of a permanent cure when I found one in the death of my wife. This I can & do endure as becomes a man--it was the horrible never-ending oscillation between hope & despair which I could not longer have endured without the total loss of reason. In the death of what was my life, then, I receive a new but--oh God! how melancholy an existence. " Poe to George W. Eveleth - January 4, 1848.
Good luck on your project; may your classroom be flooded in Kleenex.
-- Anonymous, January 21, 2004