Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Birthday Toast to Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe Image from Google 

As most of you will no doubt know today, January 19th marks the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe. To a lot of people the life, death and mystery that surrounds him is as much a lure to Poe as his works are. I think this was elegantly captured in March 1934 by the Ambassador of Chile (M. Frucco) in his message; partly quoted here from Wikipedia and many other places.

“Edgar Allan Poe was born one year prior to the Declaration of Chilean Independence. Like those who wrote our historic document, Poe was of mortal clay, and passed on into the great unknown. But about his name there glows the halo of immortal genius that illuminates all his creations, and makes them live on wherever there are eyes to read, and minds capable of grasping the delicate beauty of his art. What he has done is timeless and changeless.”

Image of the Poe Toaster from Google 
 I particularly find great fascination in the mysterious anonymous person or persons who every year, on his birthday “Toast” him at his grave, (and although according to the American press this event has not happened for the last few years, most likely due to the press and others intrusion turning it into a media spectacle.) I find great solace in remembering people at their graveside or at over special places or times.

For more on this, I post a quick link to Wikipedia here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe_Toaster  

Sight see-ers image from Google 
And so tonight I would like to think that, no matter where we are, or what the time is around the world we could, be it on our own or with like-minded friends make our own Toast weather with Cognac or not to “Edgar Allan Poe” and thank him for the works we love so much.

I include here the first verse of one of my favourite of his poems Dreamland;

Dreamland

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule-
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

And so please raise your glasses
“To Edgar Allan Poe,   Thank you for what you have brought in to our lives.” 

3 comments:

  1. Nicely written, Alastair ... It sounds like the perfect excuse to break out that palincă we've saved since 2008, doesn't it? I'll just make sure tomorrow's post is complete BEFORE I raise a glass! :D

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  2. I had no idea there was a Poe Toaster. Pretty cool that someone does this, or used to. If anyone deserves it, it's Poe. I just re-read his The Masque of the Red Death. A toast to such a master.

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    1. Upon leaving school, the first hotel that I worked in was only slightly more sane than the Castellated Abbey in The Masque Of The Red Death, and I mean that in quite a few ways, Gabriel

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