Saturday, January 19, 2008
Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe
Today is the 199th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth. I just saw this interesting article about an annual visitor to Poe's Baltimore grave. The mystery man leaves 3 red roses and a half-filled bottle of premium-label cognac — a "toast" to the author — at the gravesite. This tribute has been going on for years, though exactly how many is up for debate.
Poe was one of my earliest all-time favorite authors. For a time as a child, I couldn't get enough of reading his tales or of watching the movies/listening to old radio shows based on them. It was a particular treat to work on my book of Poe retellings. Then just last year, I wrote a high school lesson plan for ReadWriteThink.org on comparing Poe's brilliant "The Pit and the Pendulum" to Roger Corman's remarkable 1961 film interpretation. If you haven't read or seen these works in a while, I recommend reacquainting yourself with them, one right after the other. I know you'll enjoy the experience.