The Final Days of Edgar Allan Poe

On October 3, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe was found lying outside Ryan’s Fourth Ward polls in Baltimore, MD wearing clothes that were not his own. He was semiconscious and described as being in ‘great distress.’ He mentioned the name of an acquaintance of his who lived nearby. He was then taken to the Washington College Hospital where he died a few days later. There were many rumors surrounding his death and what he was doing during his final days. Many said he had been drinking. Others claimed he was picked up by thugs, liquored up, then taken to different polling places in different clothes to vote multiple times for one candidate.

He had traveled from Richmond, VA about a week before. He was on his way to Philadelphia, PA for an editing job. In Richmond, his physician said he was not well and should stay a few more days before traveling. He declined. He took his physician’s walking cane by mistake instead of his own. He had lost his luggage which was found several weeks after his death. His fiancé had said he seemed ill. This was why he met with his physician in Richmond. This illness is likely the cause of his death. Baltimore had an epidemic of Cholera in the Summer of 1849 and many believe this was the illness that claimed Edgar Poe’s life.

Poe’s funeral was held one day following his death and was described as “cold-blooded” and “unchristianlike.” Only seven people attended. Poe’s mother-in-law discovered his beloved tortoiseshell cat Catterina dead shortly after learning of Poe’s death. Learn more about Poe at Biography’s 13 Haunting Facts About Edgar Allan Poe’s Death. Celebrate Poe this week by reading his stories and poetry. It will get you into the spooky season. Read it with friends and have an E.A. Poe appreciation party.

Throwback Thursday Poetry: Esthetics of Death

within a split second
a lifetime shall pass
all that has ever been
will return to you again
all that you remember
all you have seen
will flash before your eyes
as if on a TV screen
you feel quick and short pain
it’s a shock to your brain
you breathe your last breath
as you’re swept away by death
all questions are answered
all knowledge foreseen
and forever you stay
in a most wonderful dream

Early poetry from James. From the poetry collection Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry.

Throwback Thursday Poetry: In My Time of Dying

the days have grown beyond my reach
it appears my voice has begun to leak
listening to the Language of my Eyes
watching the distant Cries of my Mind
asking for the very last Sign
how shall i feel upon my Dark Demise
curious of my last days on the earth
what will happen during the time i die
will i continue to question my worth
will anyone notice as my body is dispersed
in the ashes my soul will lurk
until the last loved one no longer looks
at this moment, i am released
to the darkest of the deep
here i’ll stay
until existence withers away
and on that day
i shall be joined
by no one, that is to say
if i am alone on the final day

i would like to have peace
by the end of the road
but the way things are going
i just don’t know
if i will find happiness
before the end of my life
or if it will come
as i start to die
it would be ironic
to have the best day of my life
and fall with the Sun
back into the Sky
my life would end
as the Moon ascends
and the cries of the Night
would be gone out of sight
with no one to look or care
if the Divine Gift disappears
and the only one to think of me
is the voice inside Laughing

Early poetry from James. From the poetry collection Pariah Bound: The Lonesome Poetry.