Edgar Allan Poe

Noon hour.

The Coke was a winner, now finished. Soon I will have a burrito for lunch. I just read “Some Words with a Mummy,” a playful little tale by Poe. Not a major work by him. The copy I read from I purchased at Borders over twenty years ago. Library of America. I did have a vehicle back then, a green Nissan pickup truck. One night, when the happy hour and dinner were done, I drove to the bookstore and picked this volume for its authoritative texts. The cashier looked at the book skeptically, as if wondering how it differed from the bargain volumes of Poe that abounded. I suppose I thought I deserved better. Likely I was a snob, but this was two decades ago. Still, the book is worthy to keep and venerate as a sort of monument. I went and fetched it from a box of my things, and my place in it was still marked after many years. I had read some 800 pages of it. Even Henry James condescended to like The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, while T S Eliot despised everything from the Romantic period. Many critics denounce Poe, but he still became famous overnight with the publication of “The Raven.” I had a guitarist friend who told me he was going to write an opera about Poe. I wonder if he ever did? Another friend, from Baltimore, sneaked into the cemetery where Poe was buried and slept on his grave. I figure that’s devotion for you. Still another band mate admired the prosody of Poe’s poetry, with every line meticulously put together. Then of course there was my mother, who proclaimed Edgar Allan Poe as a genius for his originality. One could do much worse than Poe for a champion.

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