Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Toast to Edgar Allen Poe

I remember following with enthusiasm the annual ritual surrounding the birthday of Edgar Allen Poe, admiring the annual tradition of the mysterious figure who would leave roses and a half a bottle of cognac at Poe's grave, for over seventy years. I can appreciate such a feat of a tradition in modern times, a tradition which began in the 1940's. It is a tradition so romantic and mysterious, I imagine every writer aspires to have such a devotion of followers, as Poe had.

It was with sadness that I encountered this article this afternoon: where it appears for the second year in a row, that the mysterious grave visitor has been missed again. From speculations of the death of the visitor or to a retirement of the tradition last year, being the 200th birthday of Poe being the end-all reason, it seems a beloved American tradition has lapsed after an impressive seventy years. In the spirit of Poe's own stories, I am left sitting here thoughful, melancholoy and wondering about my own worth to society.

"It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence,
we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream."
-Edgar Allen Poe