Poetry Challenge: A ‘Raven’-like Poem on the Death of Edgar Allan Poe The Society June 24, 2021 Culture, Poetry, Poetry Contests 25 Comments . Edgar Allan Poe was known for strange and mysterious tales, in poetry and prose. Perhaps fittingly, the circumstances surrounding his premature death at the age of 40 were also strange and mysterious. (Read about the circumstances here and here.) Thus, with the help of poet Phil S. Rogers, the idea was conceived of a poem, factual and/or fictional, on the death of Poe in the meter of his renowned “Raven.” The poet and editor, got as far as the below two stanzas, which are free for public use with the hope that someone will bring this concept to fruition, or add a stanza, and post it in the comments below. . On a sodden night so eerie, moonless, therefore dark and dreary, Mists athwart the ground roll shrouding, creeping, creeping ever low. Keeping always barely hidden, barely seen as if forbidden, Something mangled in the gutter, perhaps beset on by a foe, Noted dramatist and poet, christened Edgar Allan Poe, Not a tag yet on his toe. Endless laughter deep one night, a public house in golden light, Whisky flowed In Gunner’s Hall, public tavern, polling place, Where the people came out for election day in Baltimore. Was the beastly whiskey drinking sinking him beyond God’s grace To a point beyond the health and joy that fills the human race? No hint came from his pale face. . . Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 25 Responses James A. Tweedie June 25, 2021 Edgar Allan Poe, the poet, died but was too drunk to know it. Sobered up and started throwing up in front of heaven’s door. “I’m not done!” he shouted plainly. “Send me back!” he pleaded vainly. “This is nuts!” he said insanely, gamely rapping on the door. “Just a poet,” said St. Pete, “inanely tapping on our door. “Only that and nothing more.” Edgar’s screams were undiminished, “There’s a poem I’ve not finished!” “Let me . . . get me back to somewhere close to where I was before.” “Let me go! I’m tired of fighting! There’s a book I should be writing! “I’m not finding this exciting, knocking on your stupid door.” Michael queried, “Who’s inciting rioting outside our door?” Pete said, “Poe,” and nothing more. Soon enough, Poe’s worries ended. Back to earth his soul descended. Where he found himself awaking, aching on his chamber floor. With his neighbor’s rooster crowing, and his pounding headache growing He arose, no longer knowing where he’d been the night before. “What went wrong?” St. Peter asked. “It was,” the harried angel swore, “A scribal error, nothing more.” Reply Jess Sleight June 25, 2021 Lovely and funny. Congrats! Reply Phil S. Rogers June 25, 2021 Great! I could visualize this happening, laughed all the way through. Phil Rogers Reply Roy E. Peterson June 25, 2021 Your contribution to the fate of Poe is wonderful and apropos! Reply James A. Tweedie June 25, 2021 Nice rhyme yourself, Roy! Thanks. Susan Jarvis Bryant June 25, 2021 Great start to the challenge, James! Thank you for the inspiration. This is a great challenge! Reply Cynthia Erlandson June 27, 2021 I’m laughing out loud! Reply Peter Hartley June 25, 2021 James – A wonderfully irreverent description of shenanigans outside the pearly gates, with some very felicitous rhymes. I particularly like the laconic Saint Pete saying it’s just Poe the poet and nothing more, “insanely, gamely rapping on the door.” In fact this little poem has made my afternoon. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 25, 2021 Edgar’s death is most perplexing, steeped in mystery, dark and vexing; Raven’s wings outstretched and flexing, flexing at the chamber door. Did a barroom binge of liquor lick his skin, let fever flicker, Singe his brow as he grew sicker, sicker than he’d been before? Tell-tale heart hallucinations, incoherent declarations Till his breath was never more. Mister Poe was dazed and hazy, tongue all slack and eyes all glazy; Gaunt and haunted, gone half crazy calling for his lost Lenore. Lacking vim and lacking vigor, pendulum’s swing from pits of rigor; Edgar should’ve pulled the trigger – killed the ominous bird of yore. Experts cite the blight of rabies – there are many mights and maybes On this quest of evermore. Reply Phil Rogers June 27, 2021 Absolutely love the first line, the reference to shooting the raven, and the references to Poe’s other works. Thank you. Reply Cynthia Erlandson June 27, 2021 Hilarious and brilliant! I love the way this group can have great fun while being serious about poetry! Reply Jess Sleight June 28, 2021 Wish I could think of such a wonderful melange of words, all knowing at the door, but in knowing as before… Reply Will Dunn June 28, 2021 Hidden in Plain Plight Speaking to his secret buried, strange are many versions varied, explicating the very curious happenstance of Poe’s demise, none concluding self-sedation by ferment of his libation for pneumonic aspiration that, foretold by fever’s rise, led to retching and reclothing then to madness briefly guise — donned by death that fear denies. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 5, 2021 Revised Version: Edgar’s death is most perplexing, steeped in mystery, dark and vexing; Raven’s wings outstretched and flexing, flexing at the chamber door. Did a barroom binge of liquor lick his skin, let fever flicker, Singe his brow as he grew sicker, sicker than he’d been before, Tell-Tale-Heart hallucinations, incoherent declarations Till his breath was never more? Mister Poe was dazed and hazy, tongue all slack and eyes all glazy; Gaunt and haunted, gone half crazy calling for his lost Lenore. Lacking vim and lacking vigor, pendulum’s swing from pits of rigor; Edgar should’ve pulled the trigger – killed the ominous bird of yore. Experts cite the blight of rabies – there are many mights and maybes In this tale of evermore. Edgar’s life of non-compliance hexed the finds of settled science Quashing trust and blind reliance on all analytic lore. Grim ends leave folk shocked and shivery, shrieking tales with bleak delivery, Stoked to make a raven quivery, quivery to the very core. Whether crazed or whisky-sodden, Poe will never be forgotten – He will sing forevermore! Reply Roy E. Peterson July 5, 2021 Susan, I am always in awe of your felicity with words, in this case the vexing, flexing and hexing. I agree with Phil Rogers that referencing other works of Poe in your verses is pure inspiration enlivening the meaning. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant July 6, 2021 Thank you so very much, Roy. I’ve taken a couple of poetic liberties with the form… and intend to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes, I’m too passionate for my own good. lol. Will Dunn July 9, 2021 Another possibility. Griswold Called Libel was the notice printed, facts ignored and newly minted, scandalizing with fury curious life and death of Mr. Poe — “Raving madness diabolic, constant mumbling melancholic, stumbling stupors alcoholic,” Griswold, as the author muttered, taking charge of works by Poe wielding power yielding woe. Thus begetting my suspicion Griswold felled his competition crafting crime of hatred spurious using cooping to excuse dressing Poe in odd attire as if forced to thus conspire leading to a fate more dire — poison burning as the fuse Griswold lit in dark igniting legal edict he’d abuse filching fame that Poe would lose. Reply Norma Okun July 10, 2021 On Edgar Allan Poe immortal day On a bleak and weary night Edgar and Annabel Died in ways that captive our imagination On a tender cloudless night with no moon above And strange cuckoos heard no more As night descending on Annabel who Poe remembered On a stillness and bells that rung on at the very time Poe and Annabel embraced forever on A unforgettable night. Reply Will Dunn July 11, 2021 Yet another possibility. Self Defense? . “Death” perhaps is Poe’s own story written as exculpatory freeing him from a habit curious demons caused him to invoke — telling tales so often eerie leading even him to theory evil of which he was leery formed the words he penned and spoke making horror seem companion though but devil’s means to cloak curse from which he never woke. Reply Kathy Bahr August 21, 2021 Gracefully laid out the words. Reply Mia July 11, 2021 I have found this to be one of the most difficult exercises on SCP. What amazing poems, only wish I could reach such a standard. And you have sparked an interest in Edgar Allan Poe . Thank you SCP Reply Isabelle Wann July 12, 2021 Take a drink to Edgar Who, like many artists of his time, Built a world around himself, A world of prose and rhyme Take a drink to Edgar Who wrote of Dickens’ bird, And made his stories so dark and scary, They could turn your blood to curd. Deep into the darkness peering, I wonder if he was afearing, What we know for him awaits, Or if he took it just as fate. Take a drink to Edgar, But maybe only one For if we have too many, Our lives just may be done. I don’t know what he believed, I can’t say he lived for lies, But I can say, that either way I disagree or sympathize. Disagree of he thought life not worth living. If he thought he could satisfy all his needs And if he thought that all life is giving Is drink, to be had in copious feeds. Yet otherwise, I’d sympathize If it were any other Maybe t’was an accident, Or a visit to his mother. I know some of this doesn’t make sense…. I tried anyhow haha. Reply Janett Lee Wawrzyniak - Florida July 12, 2021 Poetry Challenge: A ‘Raven’-like Poem on the Death of Edgar Allan Poe Janett Wawrzyniak, Florida July 12, 2021 New formed rain drops catch incoming cosmic frequencies, Raindrops fall impressed with cosmic memories, With light, heard is rapidly increasing frequency again. Electromagnetic frequencies fall in raindrops setting course, Surrounding air is permeated with spreading frequency, Incoming wavelengths each with a strong purpose of their source. Like a drum with percussion, a fife is heard and felt, Highest frequencies violet with gamma reaching higher yet, Are possibly — then felt about one’s head as tapping. Frequencies increase higher, rapid then closer not offset Their crests and troughs shorten to vibrate are on track. Frequency identity is realized — its higher percussion is felt. Vibration is experienced differently by each individual. Lowering thoughts to baser density is avoided, then self dealt. Quality increases with strong higher frequency and its surroundings. Day or night tapping increases — and overall is felt, For eons the living searched for light, through the hands of time In given grace for evermore — then uniting with Light Divine. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant August 6, 2021 My final, tidied up version: Purple Curtains ~ Musings on Edgar Allen Poe’s Mysterious Death Edgar’s death was most perplexing, steeped in mystery, dark and vexing – Some saw wings outstretched and flexing, flexing at his chamber door. Did a barroom binge of liquor lick his skin, let fever flicker, Singe his brow as he grew sicker, sicker than he’d been before? Tell-tale-heart hallucinations may have gripped him as before Till his breath was nevermore. Some said Poe was dazed and hazy, tongue all slack and eyes all glazy; Gaunt and haunted, gone half crazy, calling for his lost Lenore. Lacking vim and missing vigor, pendulum’s swing from pits of rigor; Edgar should’ve pulled the trigger – shot the ominous bird of yore. Some, they cite the blight of rabies; others blame the bird of yore And its squawk of “Nevermore!” Edgar’s life of non-compliance hexed the finds of settled science Quashing trust and blind reliance on all analytic lore. Grim ends left folk shocked and shivery, shrieking tales with bleak delivery Stoked to make a raven quivery, quivery to its quothing core. Whisky-sodden or cur-bitten; mad or pickled to the core – Poe will sing forevermore! Reply Kathy Bahr August 29, 2021 Aversion and appetite are his demands to who the poet plays Smote of a single seminal hand bent old page and black ink confessor. The twinge in a man and his tales are thick in fog. Vying one another the poet bent down torn words. Pique that lay across the poet’s path meandering the time. Attention of the day gave new words. Reply Leave a Reply to Kathy Bahr Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.