Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Poe's Toaster Mystery

In one case out of a hundred a point is excessively discussed because it is obscure; in the ninety-nine remaining it is obscure because it is excessively discussed.
Edgar Allan Poe

Yesterday would have been Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. Ok, so what's the big deal you ask? Well for 60 years someone has "toasted" Poe on his birthday leaving 3 roses and half a bottle of cognac on his grave. The identity of this "Toaster" is unknown but one theory is that it is actually several members of a family that just passed the tradition down. 

But you can read more about this here on my dear friend's blog. I have always been a big fan of Poe and upon hearing the "Toaster" didn't show, was already planning a blog. However, as is the case on most days, I was out working and didn't have time to que up my laptop and write a blog. I just figured it could wait until I got home. Little did I know I would be beaten to the punch. Ok, in his defense, my friend had no way of knowing I would be planning this blog, just a coincidence.  Anyway, it's a great blog, and if you aren't already reading, well you should be.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

I had a phenomenal English teacher in high school that loved "The Raven". Mrs. Dennis would stand on top of her desk and recite this poem. She would then say, "Quoth the raven," to which we would all have to reply, (say it with me) "NEVERMORE". This exercise would be repeated and repeated. If, at anytime she felt we weren't 100% heartfelt in our "NEVERMORE" she would throw a book across the room and we'd start over. (*Might mention here, she was also our Drama teacher) Mrs. Dennis had us positively on the edge of our seats as she read, "The Tell Tale Heart".  I can still see her face and hear her voice as I read any number of Poe's more popular writings. Her enthusiasm was contagious. I began to study Poe and still, to this day, enjoy his poems and prose.

I suppose we have a new mystery on our hands now. If this "Toaster" had passed this tradition down through his family, then why didn't anyone show up yesterday? Has our curious, "gotcha" mentality ruined what was a beautiful tradition? Or perhaps had it just run it's course after 60 years. Could they have planned to stop after 60 years? What do you think?


Doc said...

Thank you for linking my blog... and great post. I think the Toaster doesn't like the publicity and may choose to bring his/her gifts on a different but Poe-significant date. We haven't heard the last of this, I'm sure.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I agree with Doc. Whatever happens, I hope the mystery continues!

Will Shealy said...

I might be mistaken, but I don't think it's the first time he/she has pulled a no-show.

I never realized you enjoyed Poe so much! Wow, something else in common. (And I miss Mrs. Dennis as well).