Edgar Allan Poe Was Born
you like horror stories that run shivers up and down your
spine, try reading the work of Edgar Allan Poe. Born on
January 19, 1809, Poe was a master of tales of terror and the
originator of the modern detective story. In his poem "The
Raven," a big black bird comes into the narrator's den, sits
upon a statue, and stares at him. "Nevermore," says the bird.
In "The Tell-Tale Heart," a man commits a
murder and hides the body under the floorboards in the house.
But, he begins to go mad, hearing the wild beating of his
victim's heart getting louder and louder. Try reading
"The Black Cat," or "Murders in the Rue Morgue."
Poe also wrote romance, like his haunting
poem "Annabel Lee:"
"For the moon never beams without bringing
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee
And the stars
never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful
What do you know about the life of the man
who wrote these strange tales?
Poe was a successful editor, journalist,
and critic of literature, but his personal life was full of
tragedy and romance, much like his stories. Poe's parents,
both actors, died when he was two. He was left in the care of
kind, childless foster parents, the Allans. They sent him to
excellent schools and supported him in every way, but Poe had
problems with gambling and drinking. He experienced the loss
of many of the women in his life: first his own mother, then a
friend's mother when he was 15, his foster mother when he was
20, then his frail young wife, Virginia Clem.
Poe died on October 7, 1849, but his
stories and poems live on as masterpieces of American horror,
mystery, and romance. They are great to read aloud. Try
reading one with your family or friends.