Do you love a good ghost story? When it's dark and you're sitting around a campfire with friends, do you enjoy the tingle that runs down your spine when someone spins a yarn that gives you thrills and chills?
If you're a fan of the mysterious and the macabre, then you might like something like this:
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"—
Merely this and nothing more.
What emotions do you feel when you read those words? Do you think they're poetic? Actually, they're "Poe"-etic!
Poe was one of the earliest American writers to focus on short stories. His mysteries are often considered to be the start of the detective fiction genre. Poe's works also inspired a growing science fiction genre.
Early in his career, Poe worked as an editor and a literary critic for various journals. He published his poem "The Raven" in January 1845, and it was an instant success. However, Poe enjoyed little fame and fortune. Although he is famous today for his influence on American literature and popular culture, Poe remained relatively unappreciated during his lifetime.
Poe died in Baltimore on October 7, 1849, at the young age of 40. Even today, his death remains as mysterious as his tales. Theories abound as to his cause of death, including possibilities such as alcohol, drugs, cholera, tuberculosis, epilepsy, rabies, suicide, carbon monoxide poisoning, and even murder!
Along with "The Raven," some of Poe's most enduring works include "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Poe's words live on today, creating the same compelling, dark atmosphere now as they did back then.