Friday, January 29, 2010

Weak and Weary

I just noticed that today is the 165th anniversary of the first publication of Edgar A. Poe's “The Raven” in the Evening Mirror. That reminds me that I haven't yet mentioned my recent visit to the Boston Public Library's exhibit of “The Raven in the Frog Pond: Edgar Allan Poe and the City of Boston.” If you're a Poe fan and you're in the Boston area, it's worth the trip. They've gathered a nice little collection of Poe stuff, most of it related to his association with his natal city. I was amused to see a few things in a case of pop-cultural artifacts that are in my own collection, including the Edgar action figure and an old magazine ad that used the poet to sell Bell's Whiskey. My copy is framed and hanging, hanging by my chamber door. Only that, and nothing more.

They have quite a few letters written to him and some that he wrote. I enjoyed seeing his handwriting, which was something he himself thought highly of. There were some documents relating to various literary feuds he got himself into with Boston writers, some stuff about his mother that I had never seen before, and pictures of his birthplace as it stood before our idiot state government had it torn down to make way for an office building. The collection had two real gems. The first was a copy of Tamerlane and Other Poems, Poe's first book and one of the rarest in American literature. The other was the famous “Annie Daguerreotype.” I've seen pictures of both, but it's kind of a thrill to see the real things.

As I said, if you like Poe, you'll like the exhibit. If you're a Poe geek, you've probably already seen it. If you're a poor student and need something to do, remember that the library is always free.

1 comment:

Undine said...

" old magazine ad that used the poet to sell Bell's Whiskey."

Good Lord, how have I missed out on that one??