Edgar Allan Poe

1809-1849

BACKGROUND

Edgar was born on January 19, 1809. He was the second child of actress Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe and actor David Poe, Jr. He had a older brother named William Henry Leonard Poe, and a younger sister, named Rosalie Poe. Edgar may have been named by a William Shakespeare's character King Lear. Later on his father abandoned his family in 1810, and after that his mother died a year later from a illness. Edgar then was taken into John Allan home, a successful Scottish merchant in Richmond, Virginia. The Allans served as a foster family for Edgar and gave him the name "Edgar Allan Poe", but they never thought they will actually adopt him. After a few years pass, Edgar left the Allans and  joined the army, since he didn't have money to support himself. Edgar finally was discharged on April 15, 1829. And he began to write.

CAREER AS A WRITER

He knew that he enjoyed writing, so he began to make a living on just writing. It didn't work out for a couple of years. Throughout the years to attempt to live as a writer, he was made fun of, and had troubles along the way. He put a few of his stories in a Philadelphia publisher and began writing on his only drama. Afterwards he was introduced to Thomas W, White editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond. Poe became assistant editor of the periodical in August 1835, but was discharged within a few weeks for being caught drunk by his boss.

POEM BY EDGAR ALLAN POE

A Dream

In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.

Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?

That holy dream- that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.

What though that light, thro' storm and night,
So trembled from afar-
What could there be more purely bright

In Truth's day-star?

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