The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe: Stick With Me Here

Since it’s October, October 7th was the 164th anniversary of his death, today is the 164th anniversary of the publishing of his obituary, and I’ll be 40 on my next birthday, I’m proud to present to you Thus Quoth the Poet: The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe.

To introduce my story, I’m going to open with a few selections from his Obituary. Stick with me. There is a point.

The Ludwig Obituary

“Edgar Allan Poe is dead. He died in Baltimore the day before yesterday. This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it”

“He walked the streets, in madness or melancholy, with lips moving in indistinct curses, or with eyes upturned in passionate prayers for the happiness of those who at that moment were objects of his idolatry, but never for himself, for he felt, or professed to feel, that he was already damned. He seemed, except when some fitful pursuit subjected his will and engrossed his faculties, always to bear the memory of some controlling sorrow.”

“As a critic, he was more remarkable as a dissector of sentences than as a commenter upon ideas. He was little better than a carping grammarian.”

“In poetry, as in prose, he was most successful in the metaphysical treatment of the passions. His poems are constructed with wonderful ingenuity, and finished with consummate art. They illustrate a morbid sensitiveness of feeling, a shadowy and gloomy imagination, and a taste almost faultless in the apprehension of that sort of beauty most agreeable to his temper.”

– Selected Passages From the Obituary of Edgar Allan Poe signed Ludwing

The full text of the Ludwig Obituary is here, but don’t read it until you finish reading this post. I promise there is a point.

Continue reading The Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe: Stick With Me Here

Sometimes I Forget People Are Listening

Sometimes I forget people are listening to what I say on social media sites and how it can affect people.

At Sage Summit this week, I ran into people who were or are trying to lose weight and mentioned that they had seen my posts about running and my weight loss process and were either inspired or offered encouragement.

There were two people at Summit who mentioned that they had joined Toastmasters because I posted about how Toastmasters has helped me.

I had a few people who came up to me and said they were geeks / nerds and that they appreciated the posts I make about Lego, Doctor Who, super heroes, etc., and that it felt good to know that there was someone out there working in the same field who shared their passions and was talking about them.

These were all really wild for me because I really shared those because I was really looking for encouragement myself. And here were people who had read my words and felt inspired to make a change in their lives or had made a change and were helping to encourage me.

Some of my favorite exchanges are when I say something and have people react as if I had read their minds or that they were the only ones who felt a certain way. And yet here I am, putting words to their feelings. Suddenly they truly realize they are not alone in their shyness or whatever the situation.

The other thing that happens is that I like to joke with people and I forget that sometimes people take me seriously about some if those jokes. While I may have intended it all in good clean fun, other people don’t necessarily get the joke.

My whole point in saying all of this is that words are powerful tools. They can inspire others to great things and they can tear down barriers. They can be used for both good and bad.

I will do my best to remember the power that words have. I will use my powers for good.