Friday, January 20, 2006

The Poe Toaster

I find it so interesting, in a very romantic spooky kind of way, that someone has been putting 3 roses and a partially full bottle of cognac on Edgar Allan Poe's grave for 57 years. 57 years!!

To have someone care so much about you that they go through this ritual seems so endearing to me. Maybe I'm just a silly sentimental sap, but to have done something in your life that touched someone enough for them to honor you forever is fascinating.

The curator of the Poe House and Museum in Baltimore where Poe's grave is, said he had to chase people out of the graveyard so that they wouldn't interfere with the rose/cognac ceremony done on the eve of the anniversary of Poe's birth. How rude! Why are there always these yo yos that just have to know everything. What are they planning to do - tackle the poor guy and force him to say who he is and why he does this?? Why do they have to take away all of the mystery? Kind of like seducing someone naked vs. wearing some frilly, lacy, ridiculously expensive next to nothing from Victoria's Secret that at least requires some use of the imagination.

The story is that the man who originally began doing this - dubbed the "Poe Toaster" - left a note in 1993 saying, "The torch will be passed." Apparently another note years later said the man died in 1998 and his son would carry on the tradition (and he has). The significance of the cognac isn't known. I read that the three roses represent the three persons whose remains are beneath the monument: Poe, his mother-in-law (Maria Clemm) and his wife Virginia. But, I couldn't find anything that even speculated on who the person is and why he started doing this. I hope it does go on forever, with the tradition getting passed down through generations.


Blogger The Gradual Gardener said...

It's so cool that someone does that! I agree that it's much more fun not to know. What if it's some balding, middle-aged accountant with a pocket-protector? Better to leave it a mystery.

1/20/2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger Kimmy said...

That is sooo cool. I had no idea there was a mysterious "Poe Toaster"...I hope the torch never burns out.

I had to stop by and tell you your comment on my post "May We Always Have Cereal" cracked me up. You said, "Makes me wish I could see things through kids' eyes again (I don't have any, kids that is, I have eyes!)"...and right beside that is the picture of your eyes. HA!

1/20/2006 2:33 PM  
Blogger Suz said...

What a beautiful thing for someone to do. It would be nice if the tradition lasted forever.

I have always liked Poe's work.

Hugs Suz

1/20/2006 4:59 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I have always loved reading about that tradition too. I really like Poe's work.

1/20/2006 5:50 PM  
Blogger Mama B said...

Wow, I never knew that. Very mysterious!

1/20/2006 11:23 PM  

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