Tuesday, October 7, 2014

All things Edgar Allan Poe ... Plus a giveaway!

Edgar Allan Poe died on October 7th 1849 in Baltimore Maryland in his 40th year. The actual cause of death still remains a mystery. So on today, October 7th, 2014 - I dedicate my post to the master of what some call macabre but for me one of my favorite writer's and without doubt my favorite poet. 

"Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words"
~Edgar Allan Poe~

This is my Halloween post and a giveaway of the new Edgar Allan Poe Pop up book and his writings. I will take you in-between reality and an altered state in some enhanced photographs in our row-home and then back and forth to the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic site. A preserved home, that was rented by Poe when he lived in Philadelphia between 1838-1844. It is located in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia at 532 N. 7th Street. Poe lived here for 18 months, but he also lived in five different houses in Philadelphia.  Poe was nomadic in spirit. The location photos are at the Spring Garden location which is the only Poe home in Philadelphia still in existence.

"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."
~Edgar Allan Poe~

"The Raven" is a famous poem written by Poe and published in January of 1845. A supernatural favorite that first appeared in the New York Evening Mirror. "The Raven" was written in Philadelphia. 

I found this photo of a Raven on Google images. I am intrigued by Raven's. They are very intelligent bird's of prey, true Salvagers.  The photo is displayed on our stainless steel photo ledge in our kitchen. An altered photo for this post that has been converted into B&W with brown color enhancements done by us. John printed it on canvas and mounted it on foam core. We've displayed it along with three Black velvet pumpkins that are part of our Poe inspired Halloween decorations.

"Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear"
~Edgar Allan Poe~

At the Edgar Allan Poe house a Raven statue sits perched up in the air on it's tall pedestal steel stand. Imposing and impressive but what John and I found humorous is  there is a bird living inside the statue! Yup, a bird has built its nest and resides inside the statue of "The Raven". How absolutely "Poe" like.

Silhouette of the Raven statue at the Poe house in Philly.

I fell in love with Poe's writings when I was in High School and it was required reading. Nowadays I often find myself on rainy/stormy days taking the opportunity to sit down and reread his writings. I've always been one whom has rejoiced in "things that go bump in the night".

Personally it is my belief that partaking in a good hardy laugh or in a jump out of fear or surprise is like hitting a restart button on our body that instantly re-aligns our senses. It provides balance on an ordinary day and makes our senses feel heightened and alive.

"Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality"
~Edgar Allan Poe~

An unabridged book in my collection of Edgar Allan Poe. Upstairs in my sitting/reading room on the sofa is the latest addition of Poe I greatly enjoy. I find myself transcended into an altered reality in Poe's writing, where time and space blur into words on a page and imagined images. Rainy days are perfect to indulge myself in his writings. Yes, for me Poe is the mastermind of intrigue, suspense and horror. 

On the sofa is an adorable plush black cat that I have named Pluto, for the cat in Poe's "Black Cat". I will admit the eye incident in the story is extremely upsetting and difficult for me to read but the story indeed shocking is delightfully frightening.

Maybe in today's storytelling of horror as in "American Horror Story" Poe isn't so macabre. But seriously to me he will always be the master and Vincent Price movie performances remain spellbound in my memories. Price was the perfect choice for actor in Poe's stories brought to screen.

"And so being young and dipped in folly, I fell in love with melancholy."
~Edgar Allan Poe~

In our living room appears a Raven as if lifting off in flight from an antique window barn frame. It contains no glass and offers marvelous shadow play. For this post we have altered the photo. The below photo is how it really appears.

"There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told."
~Edgar Allan Poe~

We have 2 Ravens perched in our Living Room. 

I'm having a Poe giveaway, the contest is open World-wide and all you need to do is be a follower and leave a comment on this post. Listed below is what someone will win and receive in my Poe befitting gift wrap. Wonder why this Poe lover would be giving all this away? Well, I'm a brat and also purchased a set for myself and whoever is randomly chosen from a computer pick wins this giveaway. So what's in this giveaway...

An illustrated Edgar Allan Poe unabridged book that contains Pop-Ups. The book is newly released and contains Poe's masterpieces listed below:


Also two Historical Documents reproduced on antiqued parchment that look and feel old in Poe's handwriting. Courtesy of the Richard Gimbel collection of Edgar Allan Poe. The originals are on display in the Free Library of Philadelphia. These I purchased at the Poe house.

"Annabel Lee" and "The Raven" are the documents included in this giveaway.
Plus I'm including a Nevermore - Edgar Allan Poe 3.75 wide by 7.5 tall Tag/Bookmark.

Edgar Allan Poe's historical Philadelphia home. A national historic site in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia. Located at 532 N. 7th Street and maintained by the National Park System. Donated by Richael Gimbel.  The tour is free and there is an 8 minute movie offering an overview of Poe's life.

Poe's historic home offers self-guided tours, hours are 9-5 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There are two friendly Park Rangers inside the home who are extremely knowable on all things Poe and enjoy engaging in conversation and made our visit not only informative but fun. I happened to mention my blog and my intentions of this post during our visit and I hope they approve of what I've done.

Model of Poe's house

It is a preserved home once rented by Poe from 1838-1844. Poe called Philadelphia home for 6 years and during this time he wrote some of his most acclaimed works. Including:

"The Pit and the Pendulum"
"The Black Cat"
"The Fall of the House of Usher"
"The Tell Tale Heart"
"a descent into the Maelstrom"
"The Oval Portrait"
"Murders in the Rue Morgue"

Plus many, many more, it is where he began work on "The Raven" while spending 18 months at this home with his beloved wife Virginia (Poe's first cousin) Mother-in-law Maria Clemin he affectionally called Muddy and their adored tortoise-shell tabby cat named Cutlerina.

Another interesting Poe fact is that he invented the modern short detective story.

In back of Poe's house.

In back a tree and garden, Virginia loved to spend time gardening.

The below photo's are of the cellar and what inspired his writing of "The Black Cat".

"I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat."
~Edgar Allan Poe~

The cellar is quite a scary place... especially since John thought it cute to hold the door shut so I could not leave the cellar. (True experience of the day). Trust me it's spooky down there. Just before writing this post I re-read "The Black Cat" and I can tell you I can see how this cellar was his inspiration. 

"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity."
~Edgar Allan Poe~

The Poe historic house is left unfurnished except for one room. Poe's reading room. Even unfurnished the rooms have the haunted echo's heard in the history of the past and are embellished with painted canvas's depicting each rooms usage.

Honestly John and I felt the presence and the genius of Poe in the weathered preserved walls of this historic spot.

A bedroom

Poe's Reading room. Between the sunlight filtering through red drapes, the red sofa and all the red in the room there is a eerie pink glow. 

Oil painting in Reading room, see the glow of pinkness?

In our living room a coffee table vignette

Upstairs in our Poe inspired Halloween Row-home...

"I have been happy, though in a dream. I have been happy - and I love the theme.
Dreams! In their vivid coloring of life. As in the fleeting, shadowy. misty strife."
~Edgar Allan Poe~

As you leave the preserved historic home of Edgar Allan Poe in Philadelphia across the street a hand painted mural appears on a home. Perhaps only to say ... In honor of Edgar Allan Poe.

"With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion."
~Edgar Allan Poe~

I leave you with my spooky poem I wrote and dedicated to my brother Kevin and Sister-in-law Gay for Halloween 2013. I can not give any led up to my poetic words because it would spoil it. So please read Mathias and hopefully enjoy feeling my inspiration of Poe in modern day. Any questions? Please ask in the comments or by email and I will answer them.

Mathias originally hails from Austria and bears a red birthmark in the shape of a Fleur de Lis on his timeworn face.
Over his many years he's developed a rugged complexion and his birthmark has faded to hardly a noticeable trace. 

Mathias's Father, at the turn of the 20th century was a master craftsman working in an Austrian village creating in accurate precision.
Now as you can imagine and might suspect bringing Mathias home being old was a well thought out belabored decision.

But since Mathias arrived there's been a presence cast in long dark shadows that  appear strangely luminous, even throughout the day.
Sinister shadows lingering in day's bright light triggering an emotional fear that can make ones nerves totally fray.

Like a haunting of past sensations and knowledge harmoniously recalled as it permeates the air with a registering chime.
A resonating sound of great remembrance that stirs distant memories in an echo of the past in the recorded journey over his lifetime.

Mathias in his elderly well experienced age as you would naturally expect his movement is a tad bit slow ...
As if his experience has patiently enabled him to understand passage of time and somehow intrinsically know.

Mysteriously today German Elder leaves appeared scattered across the wood floor, perhaps not strange being it is the season of Fall.
Except... It's an eerie thing, since this is my Brother and Wife's Florida home and Mathias is the antique German clock on their library wall.

© Vera

I'll be back on October 21st and will announce the winner of the Poe giveaway. Want a look inside the pop up book? Here is a link below for a You-tube video.
Trust me the book is cool.

Halloween BOO kisses and hope you have enjoyed all things Edgar Allan Poe.

Primitive journal of Edgar Allan Poe - Feather Bed Farm, etsy
Nevermore - Edgar Allan Poe Tag/Bookmark - Harvest Moon Emporium, etsy
Ravens - Amazon


  1. Vera, I am again going to re-read this post, but as I sat here relaxing and reading your post to Hannah who is sitting on my bed as if I am reading her a bedtime story your sentence went like this....you were intrigued by RAVENS... Well, Hannah piped up like a child at story time perhaps at a book store saying " Not me, raven are demonic, and they remember your face so don't ever throw a rock at them they will remember your face and come to haunt you." Hannah had me laughing out loud...lol !
    She said remember mom when I threw a rock at one to chase it out of the yard, she didn't want it to attack her kitten named Kitters...and it just stained her down, and for months she had nightmares about ravens getting her because of the haunting story she was told about how a raven never forgets your face, and never do anything bad to them they will get revenge.

    So here I am tired, but so lol over Hannah's involvement with this post.
    It's great history, and his poetry deep, dark, and emotional that touches me I. So many levels.
    We love the writings by Poe... The tell-tale heart....1843
    Hannah has taken intriguing interest in Poe work when she did a school project on him.

    I love the history, the mystery in his death and your GiveAway is fabulous!
    As much as I would love to be your winner, put me on the wayside, I would love one of your new bloggers to win, I will visit often, but skip over me giving someone a better chance at this win.

    Boy Vera, your photos are wonderful, all the history well researched, and your tour amazes me. I love the Raven on the post so scary cool, and your canvas is a perfect addition to a row home fitting for Poe literature poetry reading group :)

    I am going to come back in the morning to elaborate some more....see you soon!

    Fall could not possibly look any better then this. Your rustic beauty time worn is oh so inspiring.
    Love your natural textures, tone on tone rustic, a home a family can love, and all those who visit you.


  2. Black cats, Ravens, haunted cellars........this is indeed a Halloween post.

  3. Vera,
    Truly amazing post. I have always loved how Poe's writings bring out the dark emotional dwellings deep inside. .

    Loved your poem, loved the tour and it gave me chills about your brother and SIL's clock. Ohhhhhhh so intriguing and mysterious. Love it.

  4. Hi Vera, you inspire the season with this post. LOVE your poem and photos. Simply the best to honor Poe's writings. Thank you for sharing the tour and the history. Love your Ravens in the living room.
    What a wonderful giveaway too. You are so generous and giving. I would love to enter and already a follower!!

    Thank you for stopping by sweet friend. I am trying to catch up today after a long weekend of family visiting from Michigan. Getting back into our routines today.
    Have a wonderful week.

  5. what an awesome post! I love reading all about Poe and the tour. I read the girls Edgar Allan Poe for children book and we are doing a Poe inspired Halloween this year. Have you read anything by Gillian Flynn? I have been a huge fan of hers since her first book. I think she is this generation Edgar Allan Poe.

  6. Dear Vera,
    Such an inspiring post for the season! I love your poem, and what a great tribute to Poe... The history you have shared was a great read.. and thank you for the tour .
    I would love to be included in your most generous giveaway..
    blessings my friend,

  7. Good morning dear, dear Vera!

    I must apologize to everyone I visit consistently; I woke up LATE yesterday and was unable to visit a single soul! School is crazy. How in the world can teachers have a life? I missed every wonderful post that went up yesterday, but here I am.

    Do you know that I have never, ever read Poe? Well, long story, but the short of it is is that I had a lousy education as a child and teen. By the time I went back to school in my mid 30s, the classes I took were geared toward French, so much of my literary experience and passion lies in the French classics, but I would LOVE to enter your giveaway!

    The mystery and macabre that seem to envelope this artist are appealing to me. I see "melancholy" as a form of peace and joy. I know, sounds weird. But cloudy days, shadows and that place of unknown only fuel a curiosity in me that is almost like a tunnel toward the light. I love every nook and cranny you share of your neighborhood, of his home, of the colonial times. GORGEOUS.

    Thank you for all the preparation you put into your posts. This one is so perfect for the season.

    Now it's time to go catch the lunar eclipse! It's due to appear here NOW, at 5:00AM!

    Much love to you dear and great friend. Anita

  8. Hi Vera....what a fun post!
    I've never read Poe, outside of required school reading. My oldest son is a big fan. Your posts are so interesting to me with all the history and wonderful photos.
    Locked in that cellar, were you? John! I hope you have a good payback in mind, Vera. ;)
    I loved Mathias. I'll be very suspicious of our old clock now.
    I'd love an opportunity to win your giveaway- my son's birthday is at the end of the month and it would be a great gift for him.

  9. This is an exceptional post, Vera! Well, actually all of your posts are. I love the interplay between your own historic home and October decor with such interesting history on Poe and his writings.
    You're offering a fabulous giveaway!

  10. Thank you so much Vera! I am so happy you have taken a liking to Cosmo.. Your sweet words are so appreciated.

  11. Well, Tina from What We Keep pointed me in your direction, and she was right---are we sisters? I, too, love Poe (I teach English and he is one of my all-time favorites) and my daughter went to college in Philly (though she is now in NYC). I have ravens in my sunroom, and love anything with a mysterious aura. So glad she recommended you!

  12. Wow, Vera! You've outdone yourself!! Thanks for all the research here on Poe. It's been a long time since I read his works.....all the way back in high school. That cellar is spooky!!! Naughty John! And thanks for hosting this fabulous giveaway.

  13. O, dear heart...what an enjoyable and informative post. I love it.
    Now, Poe...he was indeed, a bit weird but most writers are, aren't they? He was a genius...and I am not afraid of the devil but that basement would have scared the heck outa me.....:)

  14. Oh YESSS, Vera! When I was a Teenager, I was addicted to Edgar Allen Poe. I heard the "Alan Parsons Project - Mystery Tales of E.A. Poe", then I read the works of this man (as a Psychologist I must say, he was... well... ;))
    I loved this dark grooming world, his ideas (with that SHIP for example, wow), the raven, the tell-tale-heart, and of course the pendulum - and now my kids love those lines as well.
    And now all your work honours him! Thank you for this, XoXo, Méa

  15. Vera, what a phenomenal tribute to Poe! I was intrigued with him when I read his work in high school, but never knew much about him. Thanks for all the interesting background! Love his home, and love his influence in your living room and kitchen! :)

  16. This is a wonderfully interesting and intriguing post on Poe. I was happy to have a high school teacher that really admired his work and saw that we read as much as we could as well. I think The Tell Tale Heart is my favorite. Poe has certainly given you much influence in your decorating this fall! And what as neat giveaway!

    As always, I want to thank you for your visits. You always cheer me up and I'm so glad we met! :)

    Jane xx

  17. I found your blog while visiting someone else's blog and my eye caught the photo of Poe and the link to your blog in the right hand margin so of course I had to click on it, as Edgar Allan Poe is my favorite author and Anabelle Lee is my favorite poem! What an interesting post, alot of this information about him is new to me and I had absolutely no idea that he had died on October 7th. Coincidentally I had posted a Poe inspired raven centerpiece on my FB page as a tribute to Poe on October 7th. How weird is that. I'm so glad to have found your blog.

  18. I follow you on GFC as Carolsue.
    This is an amazing post! I've always loved Poe. Annabel Lee is my absolute favorite! This would be so great to win! Thank you for the chance.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  19. Oh my...this was a great read, Vera!
    My family thought I was a little strange in high school, because I was "into" Poe.
    Then when my late husband was attending college, we lived on campus. He was away in the evenings while I read Poe. Sitting in the dark apartment added to the "mood" as I read his books all by myself.
    Your home is amazing all decked out in honor of the author. Sophisticated, and scary...lol. LOVE it!

  20. Good morning Vera my friend!

    Thank you for coming over to visit and leaving a kind word. Yes, I too hope our fourth season of the cycle is more gentle on us than last year! This has been such a mild summer and fall for us, that I can't imagine winter slapping us in the face again!

    I am sick with laryngitis. I got sick on Wednesday night, went to work Thursday and Friday but over-did it Friday and now, I can't talk! HAHAHHHAHA!

    Thank goodness for writing! Be well dear friend. Anita

  21. Bonjour dear Vera,
    How sweet of you to come back for a visit...
    Wishing you a beautiful day.

  22. OMGOSH, Vera! I couldn't wait to get to the bottom of the post so I quickly scanned to the bottom to read your poetry and then went back and read the whole post in depth.

    You and I share ONE MORE thing in common! I absolutely LOVE Edgar Allen Poe. I heard writings by him from my father first and then delved more deeply into his writings when I was in school. He, to me, is the best of the best. He created a deep "scare" in the soul long before all the movie makers of today put out their "horror" movies. I can remember my heart beating faster and faster as I was reading The Pit & The Pendulum and my breath catching reading The Black Cat.
    I used to be able to quote The Raven complete from memory but haven't done so in years.
    I often wondered if he did so much for literature because he somehow "knew" that his life would be a short one---or if God just blessed him with inordinate talent and he only scratched the surface before he died...and I wonder what untold stories died with him.

    I don't sign up for many giveaways anymore but you can count me in for this one! Amazing giveaway- I did not know there was a new Poe book issued.

    Happy Haunting, Vera. xo Diana

    ps. I kinda look like one of the "horror" people in his books with my blackened eyes and swollen discolored face. lol

    pps. Your writing is FANTASTIC and I think I sense a bit of truth in that story.

  23. an interesting post by an interesting person about an interesting person!

  24. Please forgive me for taking so long to read and comment on Poe and Mathias.

    First, I know bits and pieces of Poe's work, but I know I have read very little so I hope I win the giveaway so I can familiarize myself with Poe.

    Second, what is it about the beautiful brick houses of Philadelphia? Love them.

    Third, I have been working on your banner and hope to finish it tomorrow. But I am not in good health right now. That's why it has taken me so long to get to your post. I had an EKG yesterday and should get some news by Friday as to what exactly is wrong with me.

  25. Dear, dear friend,

    It is a joy to see your visit tonight; I had two days off from work and I was able to write a poem for my poetry group that will meet on Tuesday, and I finally got a chance to blog a post. You were there for me, and thank you so much.

    Home is really a work in progress. It's composed of lives and when those lives work and live together, a harbor is created. After all is said and done, the roof over our heads is temporary, but the work you've put into it remains a part of your character. Thank you for your creative spirit (and I can't wait for Christmas!)


  26. Dear Vera,
    Your visits and warm comments always touch my heart... Thank you so much.
    Wishing you a beautiful week.
    Sending you a gentle hug,