Mary Mary quite contrary how does your garden grow?
😉 Now that is a poem anyone can appreciate.
Let’s Talk Poe(try). What would National Poetry Month be without some Poe?
It seems Edgar Allan Poe was born an orphan and subsisted as a lonely dejected urchin all his life. His father David Poe Jr. abandoned his mother Elizabeth early on. A couple of years after his disappearance Elizabeth Poe died of tuberculosis; all before little Eddie was three years old.
A couple named John and Frances Allan took Edgar into their home and fostered him until adulthood or the age of eighteen. At 18 Poe joined the United States Army under the alias Edgar A. Perry claiming to be twenty-two years old because he could not [reportedly] find gainful employment
Tick tock tick tock.
Frances died and Poe was disowned by John Allan—the men had been at odds for some time. Poe did not turn out be the man Allan expected and Allan turned out to be a man Poe despised. One could not abide the other’s vices. That is my summation.
Poe had problems. He drank too much, dreamed too much and lived with depression. That’s undoubtedly obvious.
Tick tock tick tock.
Poe married his first cousin Virginia when he was 26, she was half his age. Yeah, and after a decade of harmony guess what? January 30th 1847 she died of tuberculosis.
Alone again and in failing health Poe became increasingly unstable. On October 3rd 1849 he was found wandering the streets of Baltimore bedraggled and in a state of delirium. Four days later on October 7th 1849 Edgar Allan Poe died in hospital. Alone.
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were – I have not seen
As others saw – I could not bring
My passions from a common spring –
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow – I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone –
And all I lov’d – I lov’d alone –
Then – in my childhood – in the dawn
Of a most stormy life – was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still –
From the torrent, or the fountain –
From the red cliff of the mountain –
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold –
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by –
From the thunder, and the storm –
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view –
The poem was never printed during Poe’s lifetime. It was first published by E. L. Didier in Scribner’s Monthly for September of 1875, in the form of a facsimile. The facsimile, however, included the addition of a title and date not on the original manuscript. That title was “Alone,” which has remained. Doubts about its authenticity, in part inspired by this manipulation, have since been calmed. The poem is now seen as one of Poe’s most revealing works. Original available Maryland Historical Society
The official cause of death is not recorded, perhaps it is not known. Speculations abound. Alcoholism, tuberculosis, syphilis, encephalitis, concurrent disease, murder…
All I know is this: He was only forty years old and was (like most of us) his own worst enemy. Despite his inner darkness I think Edgar Allan Poe managed to shine a light. I pray he is not alone and that the demon no longer hinders his view.
His remains are buried at Westminster Hall Church in Baltimore, Maryland.
We are going to mIx iT uP this final week of NMP. Today (Monday) let’s take a look at Poet Dreaming by Loretta Diane Walker and mull it over.
Mull it. Ha! That sounds like a fish or a bad haircut.
Tsk!Tsk! Ignore the clown behind me and clear your mind.
By Loretta Diane Walker
No sky could hold so much light.
Poems are nomads paddling through darkness
collecting words from the arms
of Orion, Sagittarius, and Perseus
before camping in a poet’s dream.
She sees souls as colliding galaxies,
holes of light burning
with millions to trillions of stars
too bright to fit in the cavity of sky.
Those stars are poems
crammed in the dusty envelopes of mortal bodies,
shimmering beneath white ribbons of bone.
A silhouette of stars floats in the window of her eye.
The energy of need forces tiny hands to brush
against the small wings of a sigh hovering in the evening.
She hears the silhouette speak
in a voice the timbre of a piccolo,
“Look Mommy! I caught a butterfly.”
On the other side of her dream, she sees the light of joy,
and a moth beating its powdery gray life
in the basket of a child’s palms.
From In This House published by Blue Light Press.
Now let us ponder…
I was immediately captivated by the first line poems are nomads paddling through darkness. I could literally perceive souls as colliding galaxies and got lost in the poetry until I felt like Loretta Diane Walker pressed me [unwilling] into a mortal body and awakened me to the wonder of a child’s voice. I regret I do not have a better photograph to compliment the imagery of the poem. I even added stars among the fireworks in this picture but it does not suffice… Oh well. In short, Poet Dreaming was a relatable piece and by golly I liked it! As a matter of fact I heard a little bird say I will be getting a copy of In This House for Mother’s Day.
I wrote some poetry once Getting Me Back (The Voices Within)
I cannot count the number of trips taken in that old station-wagon, but I do recall the passengers (nine, twelve and sometimes fifteen) packed liked sardines in a can; damp and smelly and filled with anticipation.
Looking back: It is like sitting in the third row seat of an old station wagon, staring ahead at the road behind you…
It is not enough to sit in the front seat and see where you were going – you didn’t know anyway. To understand how you got here you have to look at where you have been.
In that third row seat facing backwards you might be tempted to stare at the floorboard or the marks on your shoes or the stripes on the asphalt that never seem to end, but don’t. To understand you must look up, look back and accept the scenery for what it was.
When the pain and fury and fear rise up — remember it is only a hill in the distance, you have already passed over. That queasy feeling in your stomach is no more than a sour memory.
I speak as if caressing scars and lament but what of the scars I have inflicted? Do I grieve for them? The answer is yes; indubitably yes.
Reminder: This is the last day Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) will be FREE (April 18th through the 21st). It is also the last “A Poem & A Picture by Me & of Me” for this year’s NPM. You can do your happy dance now. 😉
Oh, and Clan Destiny (Unjustified Favor) Book 3 in the series is your complimentary title for April 21st -23rd. Have a super-fantastic read filled weekend and I’ll see you next week.
Welcome to week three of NPM (A Poem & A Picture)
I chose this photograph for the sign and the turkey looking past the sign. This in no way implies that I think Sue is a turkey; on the contrary, she is a talented poet and photographer. That’s why I chose her SCENIC OVERLOOK to start week three of National Poetry Month.
Some would say life has brought me backward.
I grew up poor in a rich town
where I had to hide my dark hair
beneath a golden hat, which only
made me feel hot and awkward.
Now I live poor in a poor town,
a place most of my old classmates
wouldn’t get caught dead in,
but at least I blend in:
another gray wisp of a cloud
on a sunless day,
another brown leaf on the ground
of a winter wood full of leafless trees
in muddy March
when spring’s new hope
feels like a crazy dream…
But I digress.
Yesterday I drove through some rich towns —
just looking —
not like an open-mouthed tourist
but like a coroner searching for clues to a death.
I examined the details as I saw them:
the handsome man with the perfect haircut
jogging on my side of the road
wearing clothes that I recognized
cost more than two week’s of my groceries,
(he forced me to the wrong side on a curve).
Then I pulled over to gaze at a view,
and to avoid the impatient BMW surging
at my back bumper, like the rough waves
against at the rocks at the beach
with the “No Trespassing” signs, whose beauty
I had to observe from afar.
But I will keep my scientist stance
because I don’t like the flavor
I theorize the owners of these million dollar mansions
with empty yards would naturally
look like the jogging man because their parents
looked the same, and because beauty and wealth
go together like cut glass and cognac.
Why would hothouse plants live among weeds
that may choke them
Getting Me Back (The Voices Within) released this month and is now available in digital or paperback. AND to show my appreciation for your support there will be a gift of random books by ‘moi’ each weekend in April. Check in, check them out and follow my Author Page at Amazon for future updates.
This post was intended as part of Wordless Wednesday but I have to say this. I do not/did not expect a public response but in last weeks Write Your Own (A Poem & A Picture) Sarah replied with a beautiful piece blending the poem and the picture. I must say it was a very pleasant surprise. I understand many of us are timid about publicizing our words/thoughts; potentially exposing ourselves to ridicule but if any of you would like to make your take of the photo in the reply section I would love to read it.