On January 19, 1809, Edgar Poe was born in Boston. Later, in 1811, Poe's parents died, leaving him to live with the Allan family in Richmond. He was baptized with the name of Edgar Allan Poe. After an argument with the Allan's, Poe moved back to Boston, enlisting in the army. However, he enlisted under the name of Edgar A. Perry. After obtaining the rank of Sergeant Major, he then went to West Point in 1830 and 1831.

In 1836, Poe married a woman named Virginia Clemm, who was his aunt's daughter. However, in 1847, Virginia died.

In the summer of 1849 he revisited Richmond, lectured, and was accepted anew by the fiancee he had lost in 1826, named Sarah Elmira Royster. After his return north on October 3, 1849, Poe was found unconscious on a Baltimore street. On Ocotober 7, 1849, Edgar Allen Poe died at the age of forty. In a brief obituary the Baltimore Clipper reported that Poe had died of "congestion of the brain."

The story about Poe's death that I heard growing up goes something like this:

At the end of his life, Poe was a helpless drunk. In Baltimore at the time, it was a common practice to rig elections by rounding up a bunch of street people, taking them from one polling place to another around the city, and, in exchange for them voting the right way, give them money and/or liquor.

The day Poe died was an election day, as well as being bitter cold. He had been one of the rounded-up drunks that day, and had been left in the gutter at the end of it dead drunk.

He died without a cent to his name. The city of Baltimore paid for his grave (in the yard of the Westminster Presbyterian Church, where it is to this day) by having every schoolchild in Baltimore donate a penny. To this day, it's customary to leave a penny behind on the marker when visiting his grave.

Edgar Allan Poe married his cousin. Most of his writings are autobiographical. In each of his writings there is a underlying theme. In The Raven, Poe is expressing grief. Poe was a manic depressant and his cousin was a sickly girl. The poem Annabel Lee was written about his love towards his cousin. As I stated before Poe wrote autobiographical fiction, he wrote about his feelings. He was depressed, melancholy, and sad. Most of his stories contain these feeling. He also wrote the first detective story, called ratiocinactive. Sir Conan Doyle made stories based on Poe's with the characters Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. This story was The Purloined Letter. He lived to the age of 40. I do not know of what he died but I do know that he would have wrote much greater works if given the time. He wrote during The Romantic Period, in which others like him wrote stories that were romantized and wanted to express emotion.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

"When one reads a piece of literature, one must ignore the world surrounding the literature, and focus solely on the world surrounding the literature." The many writings of Edgar Allan Poe disprove this statement. Poe's fortunate experiences provided the creativity for some of his most prominent pieces of work, which included "The Raven", "Annabel Lee", and "To Helen". If one ignores the man and his world, one loses a deeper comprehension of his work. A man's work cannot be understood if eyes are only on the literature and not on the life of the author. This reveals that Poe's life had a massive impact on his many writings.

Edgar Allan Poe's most illustrated poem was "The Raven", not because of its persistent popularity, but also because he wrote "The Philosophy of a composition", an essay reconstructing the step-by-step process of how he composed the poem as if it were a precise mathematical problem. Discounting the role of serendipity, romantic inspiration, or intuition, "The Philosophy of composition" was a great illustration of how Poe constructed a poem. It was used to show readers how to get a better understanding of his writing. "The Raven" is a first person point-of-view narrated by a young man who was preparing to mourn the loss of his lover. "Take thy beak from out my heart, and take the form from off my door!' Quoth the raven, Nevermore." This demonstrates how Poe uses the character to voice his own emotions.

"Annabel Lee" is a first person point-of-view narrated by a man that mourned the loss of his lover named "The beautiful Annabel Lee." All this could perhaps be attributed to normal grief at the death of a loved one, were the death a recent one, the wounds fresh. It shows an example of how Poess life experiences made this writing a masterpiece. It relates how Poe married his thirteen-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm, who is Annabel Lee. "But our love it was stronger by far than the love of those who were older than we." This refers to how he described his great love for his wife and he says their love is much more advanced than that of an older couple, her death haunting Poe throughout his life, leaving him, his delightfully horrifying poems and his need for a drink.

"To Helen" is a poem relating Poe's desire for his friend's charming mother. Poe prototyped his friend's mother as being Helen of Troy, commemorated in literature and mythology as an ideal woman. "Helen, thy beauty is to me, like those nicean barks of yore," shows how attractive he thought Helen was, relating her to the Nicean barks of yore, meaning the barks of yore are elegant just like Helen is to be. In the 1800s a young boy would not look at a friend's mother as a beauty; that was odd in that day and age. Poe was extremely eerie and was not the everyday man, which brings me to the point that to understand Poe as a writer it is important to know him as a man.

In conclusion, Poe made huge differences in peoples aspects of writing. He proved that to know the man before reading the literature compels a better understanding of the literature. He is portrayed as an unique author, as no other has a writing style quite like his. (At the time of course!) I guess you can say Poe's insanity helped him out as a writer. It made him greatly mysterious and gave people a better understanding of his literature.

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