Edgar Allan Poe’s life started in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. He was an American writer, poet, critic, and editor. His work captures the imagination and interest of readers around the world.
Poe’s parents were both professional actors and members of a repertory company in Boston. His father had abandoned the family and his mother had died by the time Poe was three years old. Francis and John Allan then took Poe in as a foster child. John was a prosperous exporter from Richmond, Virginia. Poe rarely used the name Allan during his life as the Allan’s never actually adopted hi.
The Allan’s did, however, send Poe to the best schools available. Which lead to him to being admitted to the University of Virginia at Charlottesville in 1825. Poe later returned to Richmond. But due to his tumultuous relationship with John Allan, and lack of funding he moved to Boston and enlisted in the Army.
His first collection of poems, Tamerlane, were published that year. Although neither that collection nor the one that followed was widely acclaimed. Non the less, Poe persevered with his desire to be a writer. He began to sell short stories to magazines. And in 1835, he became an editor at the Southern Literary Messenger located in Richmond. Where he lived with his aunt and cousin Virginia.
Poe’s work had a profound impact on literature. Many anthologies credit him as the “architect” of the modern detective story.
Edgar Allan Poe’s Style of Poetry
Edgar Allan Poe is known for his gothic writing style. He used punctuation, sentence structure, diction, tone and figurative language to express emotion and draw in the reader. He also used his writings to express his political views. Particularly those regarding racism, slavery and social distinctions in the Southern states. Poe had a brilliant way of taking gothic tales of terror and mixing them with a romantic tale.
Tragedy surrounded Poe’s life. Despite this, his poems and novels earned him international fame both during his life and after his death. And such noted poets as Longfellow, Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Whitman acknowledged his work.
He died on October 7, 1849, in Baltimore under rather obscure circumstances. Many felt he was ill before his trip there, while others attributed his death to his drunkenness. Immediately after his death, a rival, Rufus Griswald published his obituary. In it, he vindictively perpetuated the myth that Poe was a lonely dark individual. Poe left a legacy of gothic works that would inspire filmmakers and other novelists for over a century, despite being viewed as a tortured soul who was obsessed with death.