Edgar Allan Poe

February 1, 2007


Born in Boston, son of itinerant actors: mom died, dad left
Lived in London with merchant John Allan and his family
In 1827, clashed with Allan and left for Boston where he joined the army
Attended the US Military Academy until dismissed
Began writing for magazines in Baltimore
Secured a position with the Southern Literary Messenger and married his cousin
Fired by publisher of SLM and relocated in New York: Published his only novel
Became the editor of Graham’s Magazine, devastated by wife’s tuberculosis and resigned
Became owner of Broadway Journal
Courted his first sweetheart in Richmond, lectured on poetry
Collapsed in Baltimore and died in a hospital

The Pit And The Pendulum

About the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition


“And then my vision fell upon the seven tall candles upon the table. At first they wore the aspect of charity, and seemed white slender angels who would save me; but then, all at once, there came a most deadly nausea over my spirit, and I felt every fibre in my frame thrill as if I had touched the wire of a galvanic battery, while the angel forms became meaningless spectres, with heads f flame, and I saw that from them there would be no help. And then there stole into my fancy like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.”

“even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no immortality for man.”

“In the return to life from the swoon there are two stages: first, that of the sense of mental or spiritual, secondly, that of the sense of physical, existence.”

“Then a strong desire to lapse into insensibility.”

“It was not that I feared to look upon things horrible, but that I grew aghast lest there should be nothing to see.”

“Yet not for a moment did I suppose myself actually dead. Such a supposition, notwithstanding what we read in fiction, is altogether inconsistent with real existence; but where and in what state was I?”

“And the death just avoided was of that very character which I had regarded as fabulous and frivolous in the tales respecting the Inquisition. To the victims of its tyranny there was the choice of death with its direst physical agonies, or death with its most hideous moral horrors. I had been reserved for the latter.”

“so potent is the effect of total darkness upon one rousing from lethargy or sleep!”

“Its sweep was brief, and of course slow. I watched it for some minutes, somewhat in fear, but more in wonder.”

“I could no longer doubt the doom prepared for me by monkish ingenuity in torture.”

“It was, as I say, a half-formed thought: man has many such, which are never completed. I felt that it was of joy- of hope; but I felt also that it had perished in its formation. In vain I struggled to perfect- to regain it. Long suffering had nearly annihilated all my ordinary powers of mind. I was an imbecile- an idiot.”

“the unformed half of that idea of deliverance to which I have previously alluded, and of which a moiety only floated indeterminately through my brain when I raised food to my burning lips. the whole thought was now preseent- feeble, scarcely sane, scarcely definite- but still entire.”

“There was a discordant hum of human voices! There was a loud blast as of many trumpets! There was a harsh grating as of a thousand thunders! The fiery walls rushed back! An outstretched arm caught my own as I fell, fainting, into the abyss. It was that of General Lasalle. The French army had entered Toledo. The Inquisition was in the hands of its enemies.”

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1837)


“Augustus frankly confessed to me that, in his whole life, he had at no time eperienced so excruciating a sense of dismay as when on board our little boat he first discovered the extent of his intoxication, and felt himself sinking beneath its influence.”


6 Responses to “Edgar Allan Poe”

  1. zui Says:

    awesum…i wuff edgar allen poe! Xp

  2. Buddy Kughn Says:

    i hatet thus oiajgklma.w

  3. Shafty Says:

    he rocks

  4. Haileyyy Says:

    hmm.. i love his poems but i haven’t read
    any of his books! heehee!

  5. Fuckin Phil Brewer Says:

    Ya’ll need a life. Poetry is gay!! Peace

  6. Fuckin Phil Brewer Says:

    Oh btw I love you too Hailey

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