The Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe
What was the mystery of Edgar Allan Poe? Why was he so special? He was special because he helped change poetry by giving it different focuses. Through looking at Edgar Allan Poe's life, we will understand what motivated him to write what he did, what the meaning was behind these works, and how this changed poetry.
Before Edgar Allan Poe, the common belief was that poetry should be about Truth, and that it should impart some morals. Poe disagreed, and strongly felt that poetry was not at all about passing along the Truth. Poetry should be about Beauty, and the excitement of the soul. For Poe, the truth was far too harsh to be included in poetry. The truth for Poe was that life is harsh. Poe was abandoned at a very young age. His father had abandoned his family, and his mother had died by the age of three. From there, his life did not get better. A wealthy merchant family, the Allan?s, unofficially adopted him. With the help of the Allan?s, he received a top-notch education. His early education consisted of boarding schools in England were he learned Latin and French, as well as many other subjects. After his stay in England, Poe came home with an education superior to his peers in America. He continued his education until his enrollment into the University of Virginia. There, due to reasons unknown, John Allan sent him to school with insufficient funds (Meyers 235). He did not have enough money to buy books for the first semester. He had to gamble to earn money enough to buy him clothes and money to live on, since Allan would not send him more money. After one year, Poe had to end his education, being broke and an alcoholic. After this he had many bouts with the army. In both of his experiences, one at West Point, he decided that he was not cut out for the army and worked on ways to get out. During this time, his relationship with his guardian, Allan, was becoming considerably worse. His adopted mother, Frances Allan died, and consequently there was only a brief reconciliation with John Allan (Frank 15). This lasted a short while and from there their relationship grew steadily worse, until there was no communication. His professional life consisted of jumping from job to job, trying to publish his poems and make enough money to live off of. He was not very successful in America, and during his life really only gained recognition in France.
While his professional life was just as bleak as his early life, I would like to concentrate on his love life, for that is what inspired his poetry. During his life, Edgar Allan Poe had love affairs that never really worked out. Poe met his first love, a young woman named Jane Stanard, the mother of one of his friends. She became a sort of mother figure to Edgar. Yet this love could not bloom, for Jane died at the age of twenty-eight. After her death Poe describes seeing apparitions that appeared in his nightmares. Poetry on Jane appears...