Poe Is the O in October
Word association time. Let’s go with Poe:
Yeah, ravens. Who doesn’t know The Raven? Don’t tell my freshmen, but after we get their poetry notebooks all turned in we are pretty much done with the curriculum poems and now it’s verse revelry. This is where I bring out poems that I’m hoping will be memorable. I like to bring out The Raven because, of course, it’s well-done, it’s a classic, it’s a trademark, and plus it’s creepy.Come on, you know what I’m talking about. A guy passing a quiet evening in his library and a crazy overgrown crow bops in and redundantly cries “Nevermore!” That’s nutsy stuff.
There are scads of versions to pursue–everything from the smaltzy Vincent Price movie to Christopher Walken’s chilling audio clip to The Simpson’s animation silliness. While all these have their own value, I have discovered my new favorite.
I’d love to know what you think.
Christopher Lee is riveting, and the illustrations–I never knew they existed!
So–Poe is the O in October not only because he left this world in such an ambiguous way on October 7th, but also because he is Oh So Creepy and for me October is the creepy month. I’m not going there about the bizarre event of parading kids around at night in costumes to hit up strangers for candy (don’t get me going on that one)–no, no, it’s not really that. It’s more due to the fact that October signifies the diminishing of daylight and I sorely miss my daylight. It’s darn right creepy to wake up at 5 am in pitch black and then have it just as light deprived at 5 pm. October must have inspired Poe to dwell so much in darkness. He definitely rates the King of Oh-My-Goodness-That-Freaks-Me-Out writing.
- On this day in history… (myyearinbookreviews.com)
- Poe Museum Raising Money to Preserve ‘Raven’ Illustrations (guardianlv.com)
- Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum reopens in Baltimore (upi.com)
- Edgar Allan Poe: Death in a Gutter (artlark.org)
Christopher Lee’s voice sounds like it was made specifically to read Poe all the time 🙂 Lovely spooky post!
My AP students liked hearing Sauron reciting Poe. And I think Chris had a bit of fun with it too.
I loved seeing the cover of “Weird Tales”. I’ve never seen it before, so interesting!
There is a definite fascination with the weird, isn’t there?
It’s as if we don’t know exactly how to deal with the weird so we write and read about it to make sense of it somehow. Maybe. Not sure about that!
As a youngster I used to sneak Dad’s copy of Poe and remember being terrified by a story about being buried alive. I must have got caught as the book disappeared and I was never able to read it again.
Cask of Amontillado–a short story we teach. Oh dear, am I damaging my students?