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Classic Poetry from Passions in Poetry

Edgar Allan Poe 1809 - 1849

US poet, critic and short story writer. Poe is best known for his macabre horror stories including The Fall of the House of Usher, The Gold Bug and The Black Cat (1842). His key poems include Lenore (1831), The Raven (1842), Ulalume (1847). He also wrote some critical essays including The Philosophy of Composition (1846), Time and Space (1844) and The Poetic Principle (1850), and a novel The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838). Poe had a great influence on a number of writers including Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne.


Poe was born in Massachusetts, the son of travelling actors David and Elizabeth Arnold Poe. His mother died when he was two and his father was an alcoholic, so Poe went to live with a prosperous Scottish tobacco merchant, John Allan, in Richmond. Allan always refused to adopt Poe which led to bad feeling between the two of them.

Poe was educated at Stoke Newington in London from 1815-20. Despite considerable academic success his gambling debts forced him to leave the University of Virginia, where he had gone to study, after one year. By 1827 Poe, with typical restlessness, had moved from Boston to Richmond and then back to Boston again. He gained a good reputation in the army which he joined in 1827, but spent a miserable year at the US Military Academy at West Point in 1830, before being dishonourably discharged.

Poe stayed in Baltimore from 1831-35 and began writing more seriously. In 1836 he married his 13 year old cousin, Virginia. He had been working as a journalist since 1831, earning a bare minimum to survive, and from 1835-37 edited the Southern Literary Messenger.

His short stories reveal a fascination with emotional extremes, particularly fear, though his essays show that he was capable of being objective and critical.

In 1844 Poe moved to New York, but despite popular acclaim his life was still wretched. Virginia died of tuberculosis in 1847 and Poe, still poor and an alcoholic, died in Baltimore two years later.

Available Poems
Al Aaraaf
Annabel Lee
The Bells
Bridal Ballad
The City In The Sea
The Coliseum.
The Conqueror Worm
A Dream Within A Dream
A Dream
An Enigma
Evening Star
For Annie
The Forest Reverie
The Happiest Day
The Haunted Palace
Hymn To Aristogeiton And Harmodius
In Youth I Have Known One
The Lake -- To ----
A P├Žan
The Raven
Scenes From "Politian" - An Unpublished Drama
The Sleeper
Sonnet: To Science
Spirits Of The Dead
To ---
To - -
To F----
To Frances S. Osgood
To Helen
To Helen
To Isadore
To Marie Louise (Shew) 1847
To Marie Louise (Shew) 1848
To My Mother
To One In Paradise
To The River ----
To Zante
A Valentine
The Valley Of Unrest
The Village Street
Essays - Poe on Poetry - The Poetic Principle
Essays - Poe on Poetry - Old English Poetry

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