I’d been thinking about a lot of different things to write about and then I heard it was Edgar Alan Poe’s(1809 – 1849) 197th birthday today (1/19/06). I am a big fan of Poe. A lot of people only know what they were forced to read in High School English class. They think that all there is to him is The Raven, The Cask of the Amontillado, The Bells, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Tell-Tale Heart. Few people know that he wrote comedy, humorous satire of the writing of the period, himself included, adventure and detective stories or that he owned and edited magazines or much else about him. A strange man, who led a strange life, an alcoholic womanizer, to be sure, but he was a genius. It is said that he died in an alcoholic stupor, but if you read the book “Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe” by John Evangelist Walsh, Michael Flamini (Editor), you will see, that it is possible he was murdered. Not that any of that matters now of course.
As always, my apologies to Daveman, who is a good sport and harbinger of nice wishes to people, to all of the readers who know the real poem and the real beauty of it and especially to my hero, E.A. Poe, who accomplished more in 40 years than I ever started and is likely, from all the ripoffs of him over the years, rolling over in his grave, evermore. May he roll there Nevermore.
I also reprinted a favorite of mine on the humor blog. “The End of the Raven” by Poe’s Cat…
Once upon old blogdrive dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
O’er the topic I should choose to blog on as I’d done before.
While I dozed off, plainly napping, quite suddenly there came a tapping
As of someone gently rapping, rapping on my monitor.
“‘Tis some strange bird”, I did mutter, as I drooled and I snored,
“Probably some fowl raven, only this and nothing more.”
Ah, I think now it was kind of scary, being cold in January
Crisp and cold that January night that I didst snooze and snore.
I had no excuse of fog; I simply had not updated my blog.
I could blame it on the dog if I updated nevermore.
Then again I heard the tapping as of some loud caveman rapping
Breaking down my monitor, leaving me alone no more.
Would my writing ever make it? Did people read me or just fake it
I didn’t think that I could take it, I could not write anymore.
Why, I thought now, should I bother, blogging about father mother
And sometimes my younger brothers both of whom I did adore?
Writing was hard work and who read it? And then even as I said it
I heard that sound and began to dread it, that tapping on my monitor.
Then from somewhere came a hobbling, as of some old fart a-toddling,
One who might need mollycoddling, it was the Daveman to be sure.
There bedraggled, bearded, sporting, he sat upon my davenport and
Took my laptop and started sorting my messy desktop, messier than days of yore.
“You’ve been too slack about updating and I’ve come to do some berating
Besides I can’t get any dating so I came to see this mess of lore.”
“Leave my messy desk aside and tell me where you had been hiding
Who now come to me chiding, chiding me to update more.
Writing I am going to give up, I have tried it from a young pup
I was looking synonyms up and I don’t not want to write nevermore.”
Confused he sat there staring, staring, little children he’d be scaring,
If they saw how he was glaring, trying my double-negative to sort.
“You’ll be writing evermore?” Quoted Daveman, “Evermore?
How can you type as you snore?” Quoth I, “I shall blog on nevermore.”
Soon then Daveman toddled closer and the smell grew gross and grosser
Grosser than anything I had smelled before. He smelled like Carter evermore.
This was worse than Ashley’s sneakers, the picture growing bleaker, bleaker,
Till my story to a corner bore. I wrote myself into a corner evermore.
Then the Daveman stood there, chuckling, chortling, and laughing until he was snorting
At my dilemma he was cavorting, jocularity evermore.
“Be gone!” I cried out to the Daveman, “If’n you all don’t behave man
I’ll borrow Abby Normal’s frying pan, the one whereon she hath written Daveman
That she chaseth you off with evermore.” “Ya’ll try it once you won’t try it never more!”
Quoth the Daveman, “nevermore!”
And upon my once clean couch sat the being whose chewing gum he spat
If you can imagine that he spat his gum out on my floor!
“Begone!” again cried I as I tried him up to pry
If Margaret found that gum we’d both die, chewing gum spat on the floor.
Had he been invaded by alien spore? Had the true Daveman gone forevermore?
“Daveman, Daveman are you in there? Are you in there anymore?”
Quoth the Daveman, “Evermore. I am Daveman evermore.”
“I have had this pain in my foot and the drugs that I got were good
And I’ve took more than I ever would just to be your harbinger”
“My harbinger”? Questioned I, wondering what sort of message that he bore
“Yes a message give you I must before I explode or I bust
And the message, I think, goes thus, Thou must blog on evermore!”
Only this and nothing more. Quoth the Daveman, “evermore!”
I stammered and I stuttered, “but how?” He just said, “I have to go now
The drugs are beginning to take effect now, I just heard a purple cow now.”
So the Daveman tapped upon the monitor and there was a rapping, the tapping as before and I awoke with keyboard-face evermore
So even though I am quite groggy I Know I must keep up all things bloggy Bloggier than e’er was blogged before I knew that I must update evermore.
Instead of something from the good book, here is the first paragraph of “The Fall of the House of Usher”:
DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country ; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was – but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable ; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible. I looked upon the scene before me – upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain – upon the bleak walls – upon the vacant eye-like windows – upon a few rank sedges – and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees – with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium – the bitter lapse into everyday life – the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart – an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it – I paused to think – what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher ? It was a mystery all insoluble ; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression ; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down – but with a shudder even more thrilling than before – upon the remodelled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.
Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks. Its proprietor, Roderick Usher, had been one of my boon companions in boyhood;
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