Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quoth the Raven...

(as a young man)
Allan Poe

When I was a kid, I was fascinated by Edgar Allan Poe (I was always a morbid little cuss). I read all of his short stories and many of his poems. I particularly liked The Raven:
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
`'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'
Maybe it's because my mother used to tell me a story about her older sister trying to memorize the poem for school. My aunt was trying to rehearse the poem in private (no small feat in a family of 13 kids). Every time she came to the part about "rapping" and "tapping," my mother and one of her siblings would rap on the window outside the room my aunt was rehearsing in. Then they'd run away before my aunt, chasing after them reciting words that would have made Mr. Poe blush, could catch them. When she gave up and went back to memorizing the poem, my mom and her sibling would scurry back to rap on the window again.

Not much of a story, but it stuck with me all of these years.

And so has the lyrical stanzas of the Raven.

But what really made me think of Edgar Allan Poe was this strong belief I had growing up that I was Edgar Allan Poe (I told you I was a morbid little cuss). I'd check out books about his life and sit and stare at his portrait and I convinced myself I'd been him in a past life.
"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?" (from The Premature Burial, 1844)
And once you hear of all the evidence, I'm sure you'll agree.

For example, Edgar Allan Poe was born on Thursday, January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts and died on October 7, 1849 in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland. I was born on Tuesday, March 18, 19** in Boise, Idaho and I haven't died yet and I don't plan to die in a gutter (you learn a few things from your past lives).

So, we were both born in cities that begin with a "B" and I've been to Boston once. Uncanny, huh?

My name is Tim E**** H****. His name was Edgar Allan Poe. There are 13 letters total in my name. There are 13 letters total in his name. His first name begins with an "E." My middle name begins with an "E." There are three letters in his last name and five letters in his middle and last name. There are three letters in my first name and five letters in my middle and last name. Plus my greatgrandfather on my mother's side was named Edgar. See where I'm going here?

Edgar Allan Poe had a mustache. I had a mustache (of sorts) as a younger man. Then I realized that it made me look either like a cop, a porn star or gay so I shaved it off (after experimenting with beards and goatees to hide my double chin). Edgar Allan Poe used a scarf to hide his double chin.

Edgar Allan Poe had a big head. I have a big head. It's almost impossible for me to find a hat that fits. Ever see a photo of EAP with a hat on?

Edgar Allan Poe married his cousin. I grew up in Idaho where many cousins married. All of my cousins pretty much looked like the south end of a northbound horse, so I never thought of them romantically. Besides, as I pointed out about dying in a gutter, when you are reincarnated, you hopefully learn from mistakes made in a former life.

Edgar Allan Poe was a literary journalist that never really made any money writing or achieved fame in his lifetime. I have a degree in journalism and literally have never really made any money writing or achieved fame in my lifetime.

Edgar Allan Poe was the master of the horror story and a great poet. I've written some pretty horrible stories. And as you can tell from the lyrics of Take the "T" out of Trust and all you're left with is rust I have the heart of a poet.

So, by sharing this concrete evidence that I am EAP reborn, I hope that I have shaken the very foundations of whatever belief systems you've pitched your tent on. And in closing, I'll leave you with the final verse of the famous poem I wrote as Edgar Allan Poe:
And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
Couldn't have said it any better myself (even though I did)...well, maybe if I wrote it today, I'd change the bust of Pallas to one of those little lawn jockys to give it more of a homey touch. You can't be reborn with evolving a little.
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