Special POE Edition!

Happy birthday, Edgar Allan! A smattering of Poe from the past year (give or take a few months).

 

The Pit and the Pendulum, by Edgar Allan Poe

Read by Xe Sands

Xe  writes…

Having read The Tell-Tale Heart and tackled The Raven for Halloween 2011 (see below), I was wracking my Poe-addled brain for another short story that didn’t feature a narrator as a very obviously love-lorn dude. Tall order with Poe. Not that I can’t pretend to be a very obviously love-lorn dude (especially after a week spent voicing sexy demons and shapeshifters) but still…

Pit and the Pendulum always struck me as too long for this purpose, but it kept calling to me, and I felt the recording of it like an inevitability, like the pendulum itself, swinging ever downward in wider and wider arcs. But unlike Poe’s narrator, I had no rats to save me.

 

The Bells, by Edgar Allen Poe
Read by Diane Havens

Diane writes…

Edgar Allen Poe poems are so much better read-aloud than silent-read, and I am sure this was by his design. “The Bells” is so strongly rhythmic, onomatopoeic, rhyme-laden — all the luscious stuff of poetry and, typical of Poe, also tinged with a sort of suppressed madness.

 

The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe
Read by Xe Sands

Xe writes…

This ain’t your Vincent Price raven, my friends – no! For those who have not heard my rather feverish rant about rhyming poetry, suffice it to say that I have an aversion to rhyming that rivals a child’s aversion to broccoli. And yet…and yet, in discussing this poem with my daughter and disagreeing with the traditional reading of it, I realized that there is a whole different way to approach The Raven – as a STORY.

For that’s really what it is, isn’t it? A sad unfortunate soul, plagued by anguish over a lost love (child, lover, wife, sister or…), after suffering additional torment at the “beak” of a “prophet, thing of evil,” tells her or his story to us. S/he is a storyteller, not an orator.

So here, for your amusement on this lovely holiday, I present my interpretation of The Raven. Of course, some rhyming would be foolish to avoid, so fear not you lovers of the rhyme – there is still enough here to tickle your feathered fancy.

 

Dream within a Dream, by Edgar Allan Poe
Read by Diane Havens


Diane writes…

In many communities as in mine, October is a month that celebrates the work of Edgar Allen Poe, one of my favorite American authors. But he’s more than just a master of the macabre. His poetry, with throbbing patterns of rhythm and rhyme, are infectious. This poem “A Dream Within a Dream” mourns the transiency and illusions of life, and asks the age old question — just what is reality? Kiss the day and our lives and loves goodbye. And Shakespeare agrees, after all, “we are such stuff as dreams are made on…”

 

The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allen Poe

Read by Xe Sands

Xe writes…

I haven’t revisited this story since I was a teen…and was surprised by how inaccurate my memory was. More than a piece of horror, it remains a study in madness…how the seemingly harmless (a heightened sense of sound, for example) can slowly drive a person to and over the brink of madness – that they will eventually do anything to bring relief.

 

 

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