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.
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Howard Phillips Lovecraft was an author little-known in his lifetime, but a huge influence in the 20th century and beyond on the horror and other genres of media. He grew up and lived almost his entire life in a city called Providence in what is now known as Rhode Island; he lived there and he died there as far as the histories tell us.
One of my earliest influences , he always seemed to really believe through his voice as a writer in the unseen and unknowable horrors just beyond the thick edges of the senses. The jury of my own mind is still out, but it seems a possibility worth considering.
Now, for your own consideration, his story Celephaïs, first published in 1922.