January 17, 2009

Poe's Raven: A Weekend Conjunction

This is one of those strange weekends when things are aligning in a funny way.
First, it's Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday on Monday. I wrote a little bit about this last year, and the tradition of the Poe Toaster who comes to the Westminster Burying Ground in the middle of the night and leaves a single rose and a bottle of cognac. This has been happening for 50+ years and it is the custom not to interfere with the Toaster.
Poe's tiny house on Amity Street is just a few blocks from where I live and will be open to the public on a more regular schedule this year. The city is planning a year of celebrations to celebrate Poe's birth and death (1809-1849) and a schedule can be found here.
My favourite poem by Poe is "The Raven" with its cadence and rhythms flowing from verse to verse. Baltimore native, John Astin, who is most well-known for playing Gomez Addams, has made a second career of playing Poe in a one-man stage show. The best readings of this poem are not read in verse, but prose-style, as a story. Baltimore's football team, the Ravens, with mascots Edgar, Allan and Poe, are playing for the AFC championship this weekend against the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is the third meeting of these two teams this season, and Baltimore's lost both, once in overtime and the other by a bad referee call. The city is spashed in purple, with purple lightbulbs in street lights, purple light washing buildings and purple clothes on everyone. One of the very first posts I did when I started Pigtown*Design was about lighting the city in purple.In addition to all of this excitement, President-Elect Obama is making a stop in Baltimore this afternoon as he and VP-Elect Biden and their families make the historic train trip from Philadelphia to Washington, DC. With Baltimore being just 40 miles from DC, there's plenty of excitement and overflow from the Inaguration Day events on Tuesday.

This promises to be a historic next few days for so many reasons... What are you doing this weekend?


  1. How exciting to be in America right now! I was just reading, on the BBC website, about Obama's train trip . . . and how it is following the same route that Lincoln took to Washington. It gives me a shiver to think of Lincoln and Obama in the same thought. I hope that Obama and his family will be kept safe.

    (I didn't know that Baltimore's team were the Ravens! How funny.)

  2. Meg -- I hope you have your camera on hand!

  3. I am staying warm, and counting the minutes till we get our New President!

  4. yay Edgar Allan Poe!! did you spot the bourbon and rose at his grave? Sad the Ravens lost- they just couldn't get past the Steelers tough defense!


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