I was walking in our neighborhood, in the Upper West Side in New York City, turned the corner from Broadway onto 84th Street and discovered an apartment building on the site of a house where The Writer and Poet Edgar Allan Poe lived when he wrote his classic gothic poem, The Raven. For those Simpsons fans, the show had an episode from the episodes from around Halloween playing out the text of the raven, of course Bart is the raven.
Once upon a midnight dreary,while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more.”
The words Poe uses in this poem are so intelligent, along with his rhyming, this is a classic poem of mourning. Themes of death and mourning run through Poe’s work. In Poe’s story The Premature Burial, in which the fears of his day, the fear that one might fall ill, and be thought dead and be buried alive and wake up in the coffin and die for lack of oxygen. The band Siouxsie and the Banshees, on the 1979 album Join Hands had a song Premature Burial, which was written based on Poe’s Story. The story The Tell-Tale Heart is about a murderer who plans a murder and is haunted by the beat of the heart though the walls. The Author Lenore Terr, MD in her book Too Scared To Cry, suggests that Poe as a child was left alone in the house with his mother’s corpse after she died from tuberculosis, a horrid death, which she suggests led the groundwork for themes in Poe’s work.