Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Off The Shelf Archive~November

Greetings and salutations, dear reader, if reader there should be. Since this little self-indulgent feature of mine gets almost no attention anyway, I've decided to just have some fun with it.

For the next few months, I'm going to be pleasing myself by pulling out all the poems of Edgar Allen Poe no one reads, or sees distorted in ubiquitous memes of varying, often dubious anachronism. The Raven is indeed a fine poem, but it's only a sort of condensation of Poe's ever restless soul in one particular place. So I'm opening the time capsule of my angst-ridden teenage poetry devotions, and putting some of my favorite Poe up on the Off The Shelf page. This will continue until I get tired of doing it, so bear up or pass along.

Many of these poems will be extremely lengthy by our modern standards--surprise! Poe was not a master of haiku or micropoetry, and the concept of less is more had yet to be discovered in literature, sometimes to his detriment, but often to our pleasure. Many will be sentimental, as only that age could be, unashamedly so. All of them will use a language we no longer have the time or inclination to employ, but that is an un-editable, infinitely rich component of why the poems work.

So, suspend your disbelieve, get out your black mourning bands, cameos, bottles of laudenum, rings woven from locks of hair from the dead, and most importantly, your linen handkerchiefs to soak up a solemn tear or those beads of a fearful sweat, and enjoy or ignore, as you so please.

We will begin with Spirits of the Dead, by Edgar Allen Poe,

here, on the Off The Shelf Page.


As always, last month's selection is presented for a final perusal--The Name of it is Autumn, by Emily Dickinson:

The Name of it is Autumn
 by Emily Dickinson

The name—of it—is "Autumn"—
The hue—of it—is Blood—
An Artery—upon the Hill—
A Vein—along the Road—

Great Globules—in the Alleys—
And Oh, the Shower of Stain—
When Winds—upset the Basin—
And spill the Scarlet Rain—

It sprinkles Bonnets—far below—
It gathers ruddy Pools—
Then—eddies like a Rose—away—
Upon Vermilion Wheels— 

Image: Lake George, Autumn, by Georgia O'Keefe 1927
May be protected by copyright. All copyright belongs to the copyright holders.


  1. Don't know much about Poe except that he seems to
    Me to have great music. Excuse typos - am on iPhone and late. Love the Dickinson-- her wonderful breaths-- k

  2. Ps thanks for salutations which always remind me of EB White (and Charlotte).

  3. Georgia and Emily together - what could be better?

  4. Emily blows me away. I expect she absented herself from the hurly burly of crowded places because she simply had so much going on inside her mind, heart and soul, that she didn't need the input. Anyone who can look at the leaves falling down and come up with this....they're where they need to be. (and kudos for using a version with Emily's intended punctuation)

    On to the Poe!

  5. following Shay down the rabbit hole link to find M. Poe, and echoing Other Mary about this combo. ~


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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