Saturday, 17 January 2009

Edgar Allen Poe's poem To My Mother

On Monday evening Poet-in-Residence will have Moon the butler light the log fire in the library and fetch to the reading table a cobwebbed bottle of ruby port and a dusty crystal glass. It will be Edgar Allen Poe's 200th birthday. The transom window will be left slightly ajar on the off-chance that some passing owl or raven might want to enter and join the celebrations.
The Virginia mentioned in the following poem is Poe's wife. He married her when she was thirteen. She died three years before him. And Poe himself was orphaned by the age of three.

To My Mother

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of Mother,
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you -
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
In setting my Virginia's spirit free.
My mother - my own mother, who died early,
Was but the mother of myself; but you
Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
By that infinity with which my wife
Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.

Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)


  1. Have you ever heard of the Poe Toaster? Every year he leaves three red roses and a bottle of cognac on the grave... read it about on this other blog [] with lots of Poe stories.

  2. Pleased you brought this up! My daughter is a great Poe fan - I'll have to tell her. I'll also have to did out my wonderfully-named Portable Poe and have a read, I think.

  3. Thank you Dominic and RB. I will check out those Poe stories on the tinyurl blog.
    My favourite Poe story is the one about the cat bricked-up in the cellar who turns out to be the chief witness to a murder.
    And my favourite Poe poem is the Raven.
    I have a swill of red gluhwein left over from Silvester, or Hogmanay as John McDonald would doutbless say!


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