Edgar Alan Poe | basis of poetry (2023)

Edgar Allan Poe's position as a leading figure in world literature rests largely on his witty and insightful short stories, poems and critical theories, which established a very influential reason for the short form in both poetry and fiction. Regarded in textbooks and literary histories as the architect of the modern short story, Poe was also the most important forerunner of the "art for art's sake" movement in 19th-century European literature. Whereas earlier critics were primarily concerned with moral or ideological generalities, Poe focused his criticism on the specific details of style and construction that contributed to a work's effectiveness or failure. In his own work he has demonstrated a brilliant command of language and technique and an inspired and original imagination. Poe's poetry and short stories had a strong influence on the French Symbolists of the late 19th century, who in turn changed the direction of modern literature.

(Video) Alone by Edgar Allan Poe, read by Tom o' Bedlam

Poe's father and mother were professional actors. At the time of their birth in 1809, they were members of a repertory society in Boston. Before Poe was three years old, his parents died and he was raised in the home of John Allan, a wealthy exporter from Richmond, Virginia, who never legally adopted his adopted son. As a boy, Poe attended the best schools available, and in 1825 he was accepted to the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. There he excelled academically, but was forced to leave after less than a year due to irrecoverable debts and a lack of financial support from Allan. . Poe's relationship with Allan dissolved upon his return to Richmond in 1827, and soon after Poe went to Boston, where he enlisted in the army and also published his first poetry anthology.Tamerlane and Other Poems.The volume went unnoticed by readers and critics, and a second collection,Al Araf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems,received a little more attention when it appeared in 1829. That same year, Poe was honorably discharged from the Army after reaching the rank of regimental sergeant major, and was subsequently inducted into the United States Military Academy at West Point. However, as Allan would not provide his adopted son with sufficient funds to support himself as a cadet or agree to resign from the Academy, Poe obtained his discharge by ignoring his duties and breaking the rules. He later traveled to New York City, wherepoems,his third collection of poems, published in 1831, and then to Baltimore, where he lived with his aunt, Mrs. Maria Clemm.

In the years that followed, Poe's first short stories appeared in Philadelphia.saturday postand his "MS. Found in a Bottle" won a cash prize for Best Story at the Baltimorevisitors do not sat.However, Poe still did not earn enough to live independently, and Allan's death in 1834 gave him no inheritance. The following year, however, his financial problems were temporarily alleviated when he accepted an editor position atThe Messenger of Southern Literaturein Richmond, bringing with him his 12-year-old aunt and cousin Virginia, whom he married in 1836.The Messenger of Southern LiteratureIt was the first of several magazines Poe would publish over the next 10 years that would make him famous as America's leading literary figure. Poe became known not only as a prominent writer of poetry and novels, but also as a literary critic whose ingenuity and insight were unparalleled in American literature. Although Poe's writings attracted attention in the late 1830s and early 1840s, income from his work remained meager and he supported himself by publishing.Burton's Gentlemen's MagazinejGrahams Magazinein Philadelphia andbroadway diaryIn New York. After his wife's death from tuberculosis in 1847, Poe became involved in a series of romantic adventures. While preparing for his second marriage, Poe arrived in Baltimore in late September 1849 for reasons unknown. On 3 October he was discovered to be in a semi-conscious state; He died four days later without having regained the clarity needed to explain what happened in the last days of his life.

(Video) A Dream Within a Dream - Edgar Allan Poe (Powerful Life Poetry)

Poe's most outstanding contribution to world literature stems from the analytical method he practiced both as a creative writer and as a critic of the works of his contemporaries. His self-declared intention was to articulate strictly artistic ideals in an environment he saw as overly concerned with the utilitarian value of literature, a tendency he termed the "heresy of didactics". While Poe's position encompasses the main requirements of pure aestheticism, his emphasis on literary formalism was directly related to his philosophical ideals: through calculated use of language one can, however imperfectly, express a view of truth and essential condition. of human existence. Poe's theory of literary creation is emphasized by two central points: first, a work must produce a unified effect on the reader to be considered a success; Second, the creation of this unique effect should not be left to chance or inspiration, but every last detail of style and subject matter should be the result of rational thinking on the author's part. In poetry, this single effect should evoke the reader's sense of beauty, an ideal poet intimately associated with sadness, awkwardness, and loss; in prose, the effect must reveal some truth, as in "Prayers of Reason" or works that evoke "fright, passion, or terror."

In addition to a common theoretical basis, there is a psychological intensity characteristic of Poe's writing, particularly in the horror stories that make up his best and best known works. These stories, which include "The Black Cat", "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Tell-Tale Heart", are usually told by a first-person narrator, and it is through this voice that Poe explores the workings of one to psyche of man.Character. This technique heralds the psychological explorations of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the school of psychological realism. In his Gothic tales, Poe also used an essentially symbolic, almost allegorical method that gives works such as The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, and Ligeia an enigmatic quality that accounts for their abiding interest and connects them to the works. Symbolic Symbols of Nathaniel Hawthorne andHerman Melville. The influence of Poe's short stories can be seen in the works of later authors, including Ambrose Bierce and H.P. Lovecraft, belonging to a different tradition of horror literature started by Poe. In addition to his achievement as the creator of the modern horror story, Poe is also credited with promoting two other popular genres: science fiction and detective stories. In works such as The Matchless Adventure of Hans Pfaall and Von Kempelen and His Discovery, Poe harnessed the fascination with science and technology that emerged in the early 19th century to produce speculative and fantastical tales that foreshadowed a style of literature. which was not widely used until the 20th century. Similarly, Poe's three reasoning tales - "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", "The Purloined Letter" and "The Mystery of Marie Roget" - are recognized as the models that established Poe's main characters and literary conventions, the Roman Crime, specifically the amateur detective who solves a crime that has baffled the authorities and whose exploits of deductive reasoning are documented by an admiring associate. Just as Poe influenced many later writers and is considered the forefather of important literary currents such as Symbolism and Surrealism, he was also influenced by earlier literary figures and currents. In his use of the demonic and the grotesque, Poe demonstrated the impact of E.T.A. Hoffman and Ann Radcliffe's Gothic Novels, while the despair and melancholy in many of his lyrics reflect an affinity with the early 19th century Romantic movement. Poe's particular genius was that in his work he gave perfect artistic form to both his personal obsessions and those of previous literary generations, while at the same time creating new forms that offered future artists avenues of expression.

(Video) Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe | Powerful Life Poetry

Though Poe is best known for his short stories, his first love was as a poetry writer, which he began writing in his teens. His first verses reflect the influence of the English Romantics, such asHerr Byron,Juan Keat, jPercy Bysshe Shelley, but foreshadows his later poetry, which demonstrates a subjective perspective and a mystical, surreal vision. "Tamerlane" and "Al Aaraaf" illustrate Poe's evolution from depicting Byronic heroes to depicting journeys in his own imagination and subconscious. The first play, reminiscent of Byron's The Pilgrimage of Childe Harold, tells the life and adventures of a fourteenth-century Mongol conqueror; The final poem portrays a dream world where neither good nor evil permanently inhabits and where absolute beauty can be directly perceived. In other poems—”Helen,,Lenore,y“The crow"Poe examines in particular the loss of ideal beauty and the difficulty of regaining it. These plays are usually narrated by a young man mourning the untimely death of his beloved.To Helen" is a three-stanza text that is considered one of the most beautiful love poems in the English language. The work's theme is a woman who, in the narrator's eyes, becomes the embodiment of the classical beauty of ancient Greece and Rome. "Lenore" explores ways to better remember the dead, whether through mourning or celebrating the afterlife. earthly boundaries. In The Raven, Poe successfully combines his philosophical and aesthetic ideals. In this psychological play, a young scholar is emotionally tormented for the ominous repetition of "Never again" by a crow in response to his questioning of the likelihood of an afterlife with his deceased lover.Carlos Baudelairementioned in his introduction to the French edition of "The Raven":“It really is the insomnia poem of despair; He lacks nothing: neither the fever of ideas, nor the violence of colors, nor the sick mind, nor the slimy terror, nor the strange pleasure of suffering that makes it even more terrible. Poe also wrote poems intended to be read aloud. He experimented with combinations of sound and rhythm, using technical devices such as repetition, parallelism, inner rhyme, alliteration, and assonance to create works unique in American poetry for their haunting musical quality. For example, in "Las Campanas" the repetition of the word "bells" in different structures emphasizes the unique tonality of the different types of bells described in the poem.

Although his works were not universally acclaimed during his lifetime, Poe gained due respect as an accomplished novelist, poet, and man of letters, and he occasionally enjoyed some popular success, particularly after the publication of The Book.The crow.” After his death, however, the story of his critical reception becomes one of dramatically inconsistent judgments and interpretations. This situation was addressed by Poe's former friend and literary executor, R.W. Griswold, who in a libelous obituary in theNew York TribuneSigned "Ludwig", he attributed the depravity and psychological aberrations of many of the characters in Poe's novels to Poe himself. In retrospect, Griswold's slurs seem to have drawn both sympathy and criticism of Poe and his work, leading later biographers in the late 19th century to sometimes defend Poe's name with a little too much ardor. First the biography of A.H. Quinn for providing a balanced view of Poe, his work, and the relationship between the author's life and his imagination. Poe's identification with murderers and madmen in his works has survived and flourished into the 20th century, particularly in the form of psychoanalytic studies such as those of Marie Bonaparte and Joseph Wood Krutch. Added to the controversy over Poe's sanity, or at best his maturity (Paul Elmer More called him a "poet of immature children and sick men") was the question of the value of Poe's works as serious literature. At the forefront of Poe critics were such eminent figures as Henry James, Aldous Huxley, and T.S. Eliot, who dismissed Poe's works as juvenile, vulgar, and artistically degraded; on the contrary, the same works were written by writers such as Bernard Shaw andWilliam Carlos Williams. Poe's unpredictable reputation among English and American critics is complemented by the more stable and generally higher opinion of critics in other parts of the world, particularly France. After extensive translations and commentaries by Charles Baudelaire in the 1850s, Poe's works were received with particular esteem by French writers, especially those associated with the symbolism movement of the late 19th century, who admired Poe's transcendent aspirations as a poet. the surrealist movement of the 20th century, which valued Poe's strange and seemingly unbridled imagination; and figures like Paul Valéry, who found in Poe's theories and thoughts an ideal of supreme rationalism. In other countries, Poe's works received similar attention, and numerous studies have been written tracing the American author's influence on the international literary scene, particularly in Russia, Japan, Scandinavia, and Latin America.

Today, Poe is considered one of the most important forerunners of modern literature, both in its popular forms such as horror and whodunit, and in its more complex and assertive forms, which constitute the essential art form of the 20th century. . Unlike previous critics, who saw the man and his works as a single entity, criticism over the last 25 years has developed an image of Poe as an independent artist, more concerned with showing his virtuosity than expressing his soul, and who maintained a ironic view. more than an autobiographical relationship with his writings. While at a critical moment likeyour wintersPoe wanted to eliminate from literary history, his works remain an integral part of any conception of modernity in world literature. Herbert Marshall McLuhan, in an essay entitled "The Edgar Poe Tradition", wrote: "While New England professors timidly turned the pages of Plato and Buddha on a tea settee, and Browning and Tennyson created a provincial fog for the English mind , Poe never relaxed lost touch with the terrible pathos of his time.Contemporary of Baudelaire and long before Conrad and Eliot, he explored the heart of darkness.

(Video) Why should you read Edgar Allan Poe? - Scott Peeples

(Video) THE RAVEN by Edgar Allan Poe (Best Reading)


What was Edgar Allan Poe's poetry mainly about? ›

Edgar Allan Poe was an American writer of primarily poetry and short stories that explored themes of death, regret, and lost love.

What are 4 pieces of poetry by Edgar Allan Poe? ›

Like many readers familiar with Poe's body of work, I am sure there are a handful of poems that come to mind whenever you think of Poe: “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells,” and “To Helen” among others.

What is the main message of the poem Alone by Edgar Allan Poe? ›

In Alone, Poe reflects upon a life experienced as an emotional outsider. The narrator's experience of perceiving life and emotions differently to others in Edgar Allen Poe's Alone, has led to him feeling isolated and here he is questioning why he sees things so differently.

What is Poe's theory of poetry briefly? ›

Poe defines the “poetic principle” as “the Human Aspiration for Supernal Beauty,” a quest for an excitement of the soul that is distinct from the intoxication of the heart or the satisfaction of reason.

What type of poetry is Edgar Allan Poe known for? ›

Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre. He is widely regarded as a central figure of Romanticism in the United States and of American literature as a whole, and he was one of the country's earliest practitioners of the short story.

What are the 4 major themes Poe wrote about? ›

  • Rivals and Doppelgangers.
  • The Dead and the Living.
  • The Gothic Style.
  • Self, Solitude, and Consciousness.
  • The Power of Memory.

What is every 4 lines in a poem called? ›

A quatrain in poetry is a series of four-lines that make one verse of a poem, known as a stanza.

Why did Edgar Allan Poe write his poems? ›

Poe's work was likely inspired by his own tragic childhood; both of his parents died while he was very young, and his foster mother passed away when he was 20.

How would you describe Edgar Allan Poe's writing? ›

The tragedies and struggles Poe faced during his early life combined with the influence of Romantic literature brought about a style of Gothic writing that was unique to Poe. His morbid imagery and cadence-laced texts spoke to readers in a way that was different from any other American author of his time.

What best describes Poe's writing? ›

Edgar Allan Poe was known for his lyrical poetry and macabre tales of mystery and suspense. He also employed a colorful vocabulary in his writing, often stretching for the literary word and making it fit seamlessly.

What is the most important things about Edgar Allan Poe? ›

Poe is best remembered for his tales of terror and haunting poems, but he is also credited as one of the earliest writers of short stories, the inventor of the modern detective story, and an innovator in the genre of science fiction.


1. Alone by Edgar Allan Poe
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5. Sonnet—To Science - Edgar Allan Poe poem reading | Jordan Harling Reads
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6. The Raven (Christopher Lee)


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