Edgar Allen Poe

Why is Poe still famous to this day?

Since 1850, Poe’s writings have passed through hundreds of editions. Many of his works have been translated into all the major languages. “The Raven” is Poe’s best known work, maybe the most popular poem ever written. It even has an NFL football team named after it, the Baltimore Ravens.

His tales, particularly the short stories, have made a ton of  people who copy his work, and inspired artists, playwrights, filmmakers. Each year, hundreds of books and articles, are written about one of more aspects of Poe’s life or works. Poe has become a virtual icon.

Given the fickle nature of popularity, we are left to wonder why we continue to read Poe and why we should we study his works. The answers even to such deceptively simple questions are rather complicated and subject to a great deal of opinion.

One reason Poe is read so widely is that there is something in his writings for everyone. His works span the range of human emotions — joy, hope, rage, despair, and fear. Also, he appeals to us on many different levels. His excellent control of technique is obvious and the most superficial level.

Poe’s reputation is not easily dismissed. For a man who has been dead for over one hundred years, Poe still manages to inspire strong feelings. An injudicious search for “Poe” on the internet will produce thousands of things.