Edgar Allen Poe is well-known and poorly understood. There are many a curious gem scattered in the history of his life. Most recently, I learned of Eureka: A Prose Poem, which, while not exactly a prose poem in the sense I’m used to, is fascinating. And frankly sort of maddening. It is exactly what should be becoming popular of his at just around this moment in our history. I’ll refrain from further comment. But this story is not Eureka.
My first entrance into Ligeia I was 15, monstrously tired, speaking to a young woman half a country away who I think understood me in that way teenagers rarely actually understand one another. Still, I was so tired that, when the offer of a reading had begun, and I took that what I was hearing was not exactly a poem in the sense I was used to, but something longer, more uncertain, and with a narrator troubling me in ways I, to this day, can’t quite put my finger on… well, at that point I began a journey of horror, frustration, and delay. By the end, I was much prepared for sleep.