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Edgar Allan Poe

(1809-1849) American Poet, Critic, Short-story Writer


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Edgar Allan Poe was a master of the horror tale and was generally credited with inventing the detective story. Edgar was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents who were itinerant actors. Edgar was orphaned at an early age, after which he was sent to live with the foster family of John Allan, a merchant from Richmond. Although he was never legally adopted, Poe took Allan's name for his middle name. The Allans lived in England for five years (1815-1820) where Edgar also attended school.

Poe won a short story contest at the age of 24, and two years later became a literary critic for the 'The Southern Literary Messenger'. Poe then married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia in 1836. The dark poem of lost love, 'The Raven,' brought Poe national fame, when it appeared in 1845. After the death of his wife (1847), he began to lose his struggle with drinking and drugs. Poe suffered from bouts of depression and died two years later on October 7, 1849.


All that you see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.


Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.


But we loved with a love that was more than love.


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.


I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.


The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends and where the other begins? [The Premature Burial]


I have great faith in fools - self-confidence my friends call it.


I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.


To be thoroughly conversant with a man's heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of despair.


It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma - which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve.


Man's real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.


Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.


They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.


To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.


With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.


That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.


There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.


The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.