“Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary

Over many a faint and curious volume of forgotten lore;

While I pondered nearly napping…”

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And that is how I’m feeling. I’m “nearly napping” trying to muster up a poem or some prose or even a prose-poem to do justice to the melancholy, depressing voice of Mr. Oh No Poe, the alcoholic drug-addict who loved his first cousin to bits. (And that really was to bits!) What to make of the creator of Roddy Usher who imprisoned live female relatvies in houses falling into dismal tarns? Well, it’s all here in his verses, his thronged angels with wings, veils, and most importantly tears, in his shadow-brow of zombie breath and revelation, and in his dirge-lurge for the “lovely dead” who “died so young”. And what on earth does that mean? “Lovely”, “dead”, “died”, and “so young”? Is that a lament over abortion or a 30-second babe or what?

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Yes, you’ve got to hand it to rambling, fanatical Poe, he gets you and gets to you and gets up yours but he’s not the most intelligent of guys around and however sensational he was and however sorry you feel for his fate, you just have to say with Jane Austen “undesirable” although that lady said: “The impossibility of avoiding undesirable people”. I say to Miss Austen he’s one I’ve managed to avoid but only because time is on my side…but is time on my side and have i really avoided him? To end with that beginning:

“Once ¬†upon a midnight dreary…”


What do you think?

Written by Jonathan Finch


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  1. I agree with you. I wrote with tongue in cheek. Edgar Allan Poe was a constant “friend” to me throughout my adolescence. I learnt some of his poems by heart. I read about him, and “traumatised” with him. Now as an old guy, maybe I can see how over the top he was but those poems – how they haunt. “…Fall of….Usher” – absolutely marvellous. Indeed, in the funny parts to “Darkest Kiss” the narrator is thinking Poe and Usher.

    “…are where thy grey eye glances
    and where thy footstep gleams –
    in what ethereal dances
    by what eternal streams.” (excuse layout and errors)

    I loved that and those “eternal streams” get into some of my poetry.
    Ah, Poe, Poe, Poe, if only…..

  2. I like reading Edgar Allan Poe every so often. My favorite is actually ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. I read that in high school and every once in awhile still read it. I even have a complete volume of his writing.

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