Edgar Allan Poe: Six ways to discovering beauty on the brink of irrevocable insanity.
The self-destructive, (un)lovable and spooky artist.
Edgar Allan Poe. Can you think of a name more synonymous with spine-chilling, hair-raising macabre literature? A master craftsman of prose and poetry alike, for over a century Poe has crept into the darkest alleyways of our literary consciousness. To this very eve, Poe still has the magic to frighten, excite and amuse us with a beautifying madness.
Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) was an American short-story writer, poet, editor and critic. He was labeled insane by many yet his cultivation of mystery and gruesome charm has made him unrivaled in American fiction. His “The Raven” (1845) numbers among the best-known poems in national literature. You may have also heard of The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-tale Heart and The Masque of the Red Death.
Poe’s major themes have included insanity, untimely death and gore. He certainly wrote from a non-discriminate point-of-view. He looked at things from a path less traveled perspective — a dark path, one to be taken with care, but indeed a path of which we could all create beautiful things from.
With a formidable intellect, Poe reminds us that the mind is intricate, vast, and at times, dark, dreary and chaotic — and that, although terrifying, it is possible to make one’s own footprints despite the unpredictable madness of death and craze that lurks around every corner. After all, there is a hell that resides within each one of us and the unexpected isn’t something we can choose to avoid.
Is there beauty in the darkest part of our souls? Is there a dark, ominous yet exquisite creature that resides in a locked chamber of your being?
Let’s pull the curtains and whisper in our scariest voices, inspiration from a magician articulated in the art of a terrifyingly beautiful darkness…
“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”
“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”
“That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.”
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.”
No matter if you write something daunting, horrific, beautiful nor honest can you make an audience love you. However, we can hold a mirror up to our selves and each time we look, see a new dance being performed. One of danger and delicacy, a duet of dark and light.
Next time you are alone at dusk, look deep into the belly of our own eyes — it is possible to become enchanted and wonderfully terrified. Explore the beauty of your dark spaces, sharp edges and cob-webbed closets.