Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was a 19th century American short story writer, poet, and novelist whose works founded genres such as detective fiction and pioneered the American short story. His works influence almost every writer alive today.

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Also, his story

Just The Facts

  1. Poe wrote 70 poems from 1827-1849
  2. Poe's first collection of poems "Tamerlane and Other Poems" was published when he was only 18
  3. Poe's only full-length novel "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym" was virtually disowned by Poe, yet still inspired the works of H.G. Wells and others
  4. When he was 27, he married his 13 year old first cousin.

Edgar Allan Poetry

Edgar Allan Poe managed to pull off a schizophrenic writing style that alternated between emotionally bleeding odes, to terror-ridden fantasy, and oftentimes a combination of the two. His poems "Annabel Lee", "Lenore", and "Ulalume" all deal with the theme of the death of a beautiful lover, a theme that Poe himself called "...the most poetical [sic]". His poems "The Haunted Palace", "The City in The Sea", and "The Conqueror Worm" deal more directly with the subject of horror and terror. Perhaps the most well-known poem ever written, "The Raven" blends all elements of Poe's style from his terrifying prose, his haunting, melodic rhyme schemes, and his themes regarding the death of a lover and the consequential bereavement. "The Raven" begins with the line "Once upon a midnight dreary..." this line was used as the opening to "Runaround" the 90s song by Blues Traveller. "The Raven" was also parodied in the Simpons very first halloween special, narrated by the inimitable James Earl Jones.

Also, Poe wrote a poem called "To My Mother" that was actually addressed to his mother in-law. That's right, the man wrote epoch-making poetry to his mother in-law. What'd you get your wife's mom for her birthday? A Carrabba's giftcard?

Shaping A Genre, or Two, or Three

Poe wrote 66 short stories, tales, and parodies during his lifetime ranging in genres from satire to horror. Among his most popular stories are the horror staples "The Black Cat", "The Tell Tale Heart", "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Fall of The House of Usher", "The Premature Burial", "The Pit and The Pendulum", and "The Masque of The Red Death". As fantastic as it is to say, Edgar Allan Poe's writing helped define the American short story, a relatively new form of writing at the time. This writing form would be used by such masters as Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald among thousands of others. Poe often worked as a critic of literature and his essay "The Philosophy of Composition" in which he discusses how he wrote "The Raven" is credited with being one of the first pieces to put forward a literary theory on the short story.

In addition to defining an entire medium, Poe's writing is largely responsible for cementing a place in literature for the horror, mystery, and detective fiction genres. The Mystery Writer's Association of America even goes so far as to call their annual awards the Edgars. Winners receive an Edgar Allan Poe statuette.

So, to recap, the man has:

1. His own awards ceremony

2. Written the most influential American literature

3. Had his work parodied by The Simpsons and read by Darth Vader

Did the universe have some kind of lottery that we missed out on? Cause we're pretty sure Edgar Allan Poe won at life.