I am not a big fan of Poe’s works. He’s just…well, usually morbid and gross, in my humble opinion! The other day, Kiki brought a book home from her classroom titled "Poetry for Young People: Edgar Allan Poe ". Uh, yeah, so I’m gonna have to talk to her classroom teacher about that. There are some "lovely" illustrations in the book as well. Poor Kiki, she obviously didn’t look through the book before bringing it home, she just thought "ooh, poetry!" and off she went. She is hyper-sensitive to anything ikky like skeletons or ghosts (pretty much anything you’d find in Poe) so she really didn’t like this book! There was one poem, however, that seemed to me positively "Un-Poe-Like", and I actually liked it. Go figure! The story is called "The Premature Burial". As I researched this, it seems that in the time period when Poe wrote, it was not completely uncommon for someone to be buried alive. That is, people got very ill, and appeared to have died, when I guess they were only in a coma or something…and, since they don’t have the medical knowledge we now possess, they assumed the person was dead, and buried them. Then, either in pulling up a casket to re-use (yuck) or reopening a family crypt, they found firm evidence that said "dead" person was up and about and trying to get out! Not strangely then, people were somewhat concerned about that happening to them…this story is about a man who is petrified of this, and goes to extreme lengths to assure that it doesn’t happen, then wakes up one night in the pitch black, with a wooden board just inches above his head. Understandably, he freaks….then his friends come running, and he had just fallen asleep on a boat outing, and his pals had put him in a berth below deck to sleep! Here’s the good part – he realizes then that he’s been wasting his life on waiting to die, so…
"Out of evil proceeded good-
My soul acquired tone,
I went abroad,
I took vigorous exercise,
I breathed the free air of Heaven,
I thought upon other subjects than Death,
I read no bugaboo tales – such as this.
In short, I became a new man,
and lived life."
It actually reminds me of a song I really like that Tim McGraw sings about a man who finds out he’s dying of cancer, and then goes ‘skydiving’ and ‘bull riding’ and etc., and whose advice is "I hope you live like you’re dying"…
Let’s not wait until it’s too late to start loving life.