Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Poe Fact Involving a Cat

Today is Edgar Allen Poe's birthday.  Here is a sad but lovely fact about the acclaimed author, courtesy of The Writer's Almanac:

In 1836, Poe married his 14-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm.  She was sick with tuberculosis, and they had no money to pay for heat so Poe trained their cat to sit on her lap to keep her warm.

I knew there was at least one extra-special reason for liking Poe. And cats.

Click here to read "The Black Cat," a short story published by Poe in 1845, courtesy of Poe Stories.

And here is a poem penned by Henry Beard, author of French for Cats:

The End of the Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe's Cat


by Henry Beard

On a night quite unenchanting, when the rain was downward slanting,

I awakened to the ranting of the man I catch mice for.

Tipsy and a bit unshaven, in a tone I found quite craven,

Poe was talking to a Raven perched above the chamber door.

"Raven's very tasty," thought I, as I tiptoed o'er the floor,

"There is nothing I like more."

Soft upon the rug I treaded, calm and careful as I headed

Toward his roost atop that dreaded bust of Pallas I deplore.

While the bard and birdie chattered, I made sure that nothing clattered,
or snapped, or fell, or shattered, as I crossed the corridor;

For his house is crammed with trinkets, curios and weird decor--

Bric-a-brac and junk galore.

Still the Raven never fluttered, standing stock-still as he uttered,

In a voice that shrieked and sputtered, his two cents' worth--
While this dirge the birdbrain kept up, oh, so silently I crept up,

Then I crouched and quickly leapt up, pouncing on the feathered

Soon he was a heap of plumage, and a little blood and gore--

Only this and not much more.

"Oooo!" my pickled poet cried out, "Pussycat, it's time I dried out!

Never sat I in my hideout talking to a bird before;

How I've wallowed in self-pity, while my gallant, valiant kitty

Put an end to that damned ditty"--then I heard him start to snore,

Back atop the door I clambered, eyed that statue I abhor,

Jumped--and smashed it on the floor.

(courtesy Star Walk.)

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