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Quoth the Raven, Baltimore!?!
January 19, 2009 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Today marks the 200th birthday of Edgar Alan Poe, and as happens every year the mysterious Poe Toaster marked the date by placing three red roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac at his Baltimore grave. The identity of the toaster isn't the only question surrounding Poe - his presence in Baltimore and the circumstances of his death remain a mystery. Some speculate that he may have had rabies, others that he may have been a victim of cooping. And while Baltimore embarks on a year long celebration of Poe some argue that his body shouldn't be there at all.
posted by Artw (39 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Poe Toaster was the final cylon.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:13 AM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Heh. Be careful there. Some of us still have that on DVR, unwatched.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on January 19, 2009


Astro Zombie: "The Poe Toaster was the final cylon."

I have a sinking feeling I'm going to have to stay away from MeFi entirely until I get a chance to watch that episode.

</derail>
posted by Plutor at 11:16 AM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Apparently Mel Gibson is obsessed with doing a movie about Poe.

I am guessing somewhere in the plot line, Poe single handedly kills dozens of invading Germans while in concert writing great mythic Indian prose.
posted by Senator at 11:19 AM on January 19, 2009


My theory: The whole thing is actually a viral marketing piece for a teen-orientated supernatural romance: Poe’s “rabies” was actually werewolfism, and his mysterious presence in Baltimore was due to an encounter with a Vampire. They fell in love – a forbidden love that was not to be! – an it ended in tragedy. Each year Poes immortal lover places the booze and roses on his grave.

of course, I bet some fucker has already done that, otherwise it would be GOLD.
posted by Artw at 11:20 AM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sounds like someone has been reading Twilight. And that someone is Artw.
posted by Mister_A at 11:22 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Always have an eye on prospetive markets.

Oh yeah, and Virginia Clemm, the thirteen year old cousin that he married? Try ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY years old.
posted by Artw at 11:23 AM on January 19, 2009


Brain-damaged pedo, if you ask me. Also, one of my childhood favorites.
Happy birthday, you sad, strange man.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:24 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can understand the claims from Boston, Richmond and even the Bronx. Poe's first published works, an anonymous collection of poetry, was credited to "a Bostonian". He wrote a pile of material when he lived in Richmond. And he spent some of his last years in the Bronx. But it was in Baltimore where Poe wrote "The Raven" and launched his carreer, where he developed a reputation as a critic to be reckoned with, where he pioneered in both prose and poetry, and where he died. Poe the Historical Figure was a product of Baltimore.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:29 AM on January 19, 2009


Poe Toaster revealed!

Scary as all get-out!
posted by Mister_A at 11:31 AM on January 19, 2009


I'm pretty sure the Poe Toaster is the Poe house curator, and a couple accomplices.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:32 AM on January 19, 2009


The team known as the Baltimore Ravens lost last night–coincidence?

I THINK NOT MUST CONSULT TIMECUBE AND CONSTRUE MEANING MATRIX
posted by Mister_A at 11:34 AM on January 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ha! I just caught on to the whole "Baltimore Ravens" thing.

I should have majored in English at a better school, man.
posted by padraigin at 11:42 AM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can't help it that you were educated-stupid.

[/TIMECUBE REF]
posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on January 19, 2009


Today marks the 200th birthday of Edgar Alan Poe,

Maybe somebody can buy him a second 'l' as a present.
posted by jonmc at 11:47 AM on January 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


of course, I bet some fucker has already done that, otherwise it would be GOLD.

Poe turns up as a vampire in, The Bloody Red Baron...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:58 AM on January 19, 2009


I had been told by Mabbott, the editor mentioned in one of the pieces here, while visiting him in NY (he taught at the time at Columbia) that it might well be that Poe had a curious problem, not unusual, with processing alcohol, and that even a little could render him (or someone with the problem) very drunk. Poe, like Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler) a favorite among the French, which may or may not be a good thing for one's reputation.
posted by Postroad at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2009


Happy Birthday Mr. Poe you creepy man, you.
posted by ob at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2009


NEWMAN!!!!!!!

/shakes fist

Fucker steals everything for himself.
posted by Artw at 12:01 PM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I recently enjoyed this heavily fictionalized account of his life.

Who's got a pipe of Amontillado to share for a toast?
posted by everichon at 12:15 PM on January 19, 2009




For the love of God, Montressor!

(Happy birthday, Poe. Hope you weren't buried alive.)
posted by Caduceus at 12:19 PM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Poe Toasters, my new band name.
posted by cazoo at 12:27 PM on January 19, 2009


Happy to read that the new guy didn't leave any dumb notes this year.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:35 PM on January 19, 2009


The article in the second link is somewhat unclear, but I get the impression people have been watching the toaster do his thing, which is kind of a let-down. One would hope Poe fans could do better in the mystery department.
posted by ghost of a past number at 12:44 PM on January 19, 2009


I've been getting facebook messages and emails and various invitations to events for the anniversary, and they all get the name wrong. It's "Allan", people. Is that so hard? You all claim to love the guy, but you can't be bothered to get his name right?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:08 PM on January 19, 2009


Cooping is forcing drunks to vote repeatedly? I thought it was the practice of naughty cops sleeping on duty in their cars.
posted by Cranberry at 1:22 PM on January 19, 2009


a half filled bottle of cognac?
posted by longsleeves at 2:04 PM on January 19, 2009


huh. Wikipedia spells it "Allan"
posted by niles at 2:07 PM on January 19, 2009


Because, of course, that's how it's spelled. Just making sure you all read Joakim Ziegler's comment correctly.

'Cause I sure did.
posted by niles at 2:08 PM on January 19, 2009


I had a 7th grade teacher who taught us that the word poetry was drived from the name Edgar Allan Poe. (This was not the same teacher who tried to convince us that there was no such thing as Australia because none of us had ever been there.)
posted by not_on_display at 2:58 PM on January 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


I had a 7th grade teacher who taught us that the word poetry was drived from the name Edgar Allan Poe.

While that's not true, Poe can be credited with another invention. Working long hours as a critic, poet and prose artist proved gruelling to Poe, especially having to write all that out by hand. One of the ironies of handwriting over typing is that you can more easily eat with a pen in your hand than you can with both hands on a keyboard. And so Poe was, as you might imagine, fond of the sandwich. Despite his lanky frame, Poe was actually a big eater. Contemporary accounts attest to his voracious appetite: one story tells how he once ate an entire ham shank while talking to his editor at The Saturday Visitor. So a regular sandwich wasn't enough for him. One day, Poe received a brainstorm, and went with his idea to the local baker, himself an amateur poet. Poe asked him to bake special oblong rolls, custom made for the type of sandwich Poe envisioned, in exchange for writing a favorable review of his poetry collection "Ode to An Upturned Barrel and Other Poems". The sandwiches Poe could build with these long rolls satisfied him immensely. Soon Poe was taking these sandwiches to card games, and the snack caught on. Eventually, the sandwich made its way to New Orleans where it would gain lasting fame, and the name by which it is known to this day.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:02 PM on January 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


No post complete without a mention of UVA's Raven Society.
posted by IndigoJones at 4:10 PM on January 19, 2009


Get a rope.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:31 PM on January 19, 2009


Baltimore can't figure out what to do with its main claims to international notoriety:
Edgar Allan Poe, Frank Zappa, John Waters and Nancy Pelosi.
posted by Huplescat at 4:50 PM on January 19, 2009


I confess to having been unfamiliar with the term "cooping". Poe was an erudite sort, a man of letters. Perhaps he was admonished verbally, though with uncharacteristic zeal;

"Vote or die motha fucka,
Mutha fucka vote or die
Rock the vote or else I'm
gonna stick a knife through your eye."
posted by Tube at 5:14 PM on January 19, 2009



Baltimore can't figure out what to do with its main claims to international notoriety:
Edgar Allan Poe, Frank Zappa, John Waters and Nancy Pelosi.


Cage match.
posted by Esoquo at 6:51 PM on January 19, 2009


One thing that fascinates me with Poe, is the fact he was the first person to solve Olber's Paradox.
posted by Goofyy at 10:21 PM on January 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing's account of Poe's invention of a particular sandwich reminds of the time he awoke suddenly after a night of debauchery. He jumped up, went over to his desk, & immediately began composing a dark & creepy poem. In doing so, Poe had gone from bed to verse.
posted by Forrest Greene at 10:43 PM on January 19, 2009


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