The world and imagery created through words written with the pen and paper are always made not only to bring about entertainment but also to capture the hearts of those who are able to read it. But to be able to evoke such strong emotions, most writers tend to take into consideration their lives and first-hand experiences. Such was in the case of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe has been a fortress in writing, regarded with high praises, and the one from whom the most valuable thriller and detective stories originated. His is a passion that had started since his early years. Without doubt, Poe’s life had mostly been about writing, writing, and writing.
One of his teachers in Richmond, right about when he was around five, said “While the other boys wrote mere mechanical verses, Poe wrote genuine poetry; the boy was a born poet,” commenting on his natural gifts. Indeed this passion is so strong that it is reflected in a selection of his works, especially in The Raven in which he said, “With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not – they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.
” (http://www. readprint. com/author-67/Edgar-Allan-Poe) But not only was his passion for writing translated to his works but also his devotion and love for his wife Virginia. While Virginia was his cousin and fairly young compared to him when they were married their relationship had been true and very deep. Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabel Lee is a writing that presented his utter devotion to Virginia. Kevin J. Hayes even cites in his book, “Annabel Lee exemplifies several traits of Poe’s feminine ideal, especially that of being wholly subsumed by the male.
Her unnaturally young age for marriage (she and the narrator are each described as a “child”) is of course evocative of Poe’s own child-bride, his thirteen-year-old cousin Virginia. ” (152) His wife’s illness and ultimately her death is something that profoundly struck Poe, the thoughts consuming several of his works and showing how he tried to break free of the loneliness and agony he felt with her loss. Hayes says:
Eleonora epitomizes Poe’s ideal: young, unlearned, impressionable and completely dedicated to her love for him… She is exceptionally frail and beautifully sick, “slender even to fragility” with an “exceeding delicacy” of frame…After plumbing the depths of the “fervor of her love” for the narrator, her main concern at death is whether the narrator will remain true to her memory or will marry another.. These scenes are reminiscent of Ligeia’s “idolatrous love” and the narrator’s subsequent remarriage in the tale.
They are also prescient of Poe’s own experience with Virginia’s youthful death and his subsequent years spent with her mother, “Muddy. ” (154) Indeed, after Virginia’s death, Poe’s vices build up, especially his alcoholism; his outlook becoming gloomier each passing day. A friend of his explained the reason as to why, “The loss of his wife was a blow to him. He did not seem to care, after she was gone, whether he lived an hour, a day, a week, or a year; she was his all. (Meyers 207)
A writer’s life and his experiences undeniably take a big slice in how he writes his stories and how his characters develop their behaviors. And in Poe’s case, it really stands out.
Hayes, Kevin J. The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Cambridge UP, 2002 Meyers, Jeffrey. Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy. New York: Cooper Square Press, 1992. “Edgar Allan Poe. ” Read Print. 2009. Read Print. 19 April 2009. <http://www. readprint. com/author-67/Edgar-Allan-Poe>
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