Edgar Allan Poe

January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849
Boston, Massachusetts

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts to two well known actors who sadly died not three years after Poe's birth. He was sent to live with John and Frances Allan, who sent Poe off to the best boarding schools and later the University of Virginia. Poe had to later drop out because Allan wouldn't pay his gambling bills. His relationship with his foster father deteriorated and after his military service (that he had to drop out of due to lack of financial support) he went to live with his aunt and young cousin. He later married this young cousin, but she died later in their marriage. Her death was most likely the turning point for his depression and was probably a big part of his death.

His first two collections of poems were not very well-known and he began selling short stories to magazines and became the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger in 1835. During this time, Poe would establish himself as a poet, a short story writer, and an editor and published some of his best works, such as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue. His short stories attracted the interest of readers around the world. Poe's talent with literature gave him the nickname "Father of the Detective Story." Even though he never had much in the financial area, he is one of the most famous writers in America. His works still shocks and interests readers even to this day.

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow:
You are not wrong who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?