2009 marks the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's birth. To celebrate the famed writer's accomplishments, many Poe-themed events take place around Baltimore. The Baltimore Museum of Art hosts the exhibition "Edgar Allan Poe: A Baltimore Icon" Oct. 4, 2009-Jan. 17, 2010. The exhibition showcases works by 19th and 20th century artists who used the writer's characters and themes as a basis for their own works.
Poe's Obituary in The Sun
Ever wonder how Edgar Allan Poe's death was handled by The Sun? He died Oct. 7, 1849, at Church Hospital in the Washington Hill neighborhood. The note on his passing is very modest by today's standards. With thanks to Paul McCardell, who dug it out of the archives, here it is:
DEATH OF EDGAR A. POE -- We regret to learn that Edgar A. Poe, Esq., the distinguished American poet, scholar and critic, died in this city yesterday morning, after an illness of four or five days. This announcement, coming so sudden and unexpected, will cause poignant regret among all who admire genius, and have sympathies for the frailties too often attending it. Mr. Poe, we believe, was a native of this state, though reared by a foster father at Richmond, Va., where he lately spent some time on a visit. He was in the 38th year of his age.
Michael Powell, who lives in Eugene, Oregon and is an editor at Kinesiology Publications at the University of Oregon has been a lifelong student of the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Powell suggests that the poet died from something "like cardiopulmonary collapse, resulting from exposure (malnutrition, lack of sleep, cold, shock of disorientation), a complication of the starved defenses."
So what took Poe's life? Through the years, scholars and medical experts have suggested--in addition to alcoholism--epilepsy, diabetes, cerebral meningitis, mercury poisoning, a drug overdose and even rabies.
"It has always been a topic of special interest. What happened to Poe is not a pretty picture. We wound up treating one of our best badly," Powell said. "He was a brilliant man, a real genius and under appreciated."
I have always admired the work of Poe, and in celebration of his genius, I have created this altered CD clock. It will be given away to one of my Halloween swap recipients!