Celebrating Edgar A. Poe — the grasp of the macabre and mystery — transparent his bicentennial year in 2009.

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185 years ago today, Poe"s an initial love died. Or therefore they say.
Mrs. Mrs Stith Craig Stanard died April 28, 1824, when Poe was only 15 years old. The met her v a Richmond classmate named Robert Stanard. Mrs. Stanard to be a little of one eccentric, susceptible to bouts that melancholy, and also gradually went insane before her death.Poe had likely recognized her for only a year or so however he to be instantly struck by her. Sarah Helen Whitman later wrote: "This lady, on start the room, took hand and also spoke some gentle and gracious indigenous of welcome, which therefore penetrated the love of the orphan boy regarding depireve the of the power of speech, and, for a time, almost of awareness itself." Poe himself created to Whitman the Stanard was "the an initial purely appropriate love of my soul." To girlfriend Marie Louise Shew (who cared because that Poe"s mam Virginia on her deathbed), he composed that she was "the truest, tenderest that this world"s many womanly souls, and an angelt o my forlorn and darkened nature."After her death, Poe is claimed to have often visited she grave at Shockoe Hill Cemetery (where his foster-mother Frances Allan would later on be laid come rest). Her fatality was the second instance the a woman whom that loved dice in she prime (the first, that course, gift his young mommy Eliza Poe when he was an infant). Though some scholars have credited Stanard"s death to tuberculosis, and also thus component of a long collection of consumptive females in Poe"s life, this is not true; the "death-like sickness" she suffered has actually not to be identified. Still, Stanard seems to have cemented the idea the the death of a beautiful woman was the most poetical object in the world; Poe"s an initial poem to carry the title "To Helen" was devoted to her.But, really, let"s speak to a spade a spade. This isn"t head end heels love. The woman was married and also far as well old for him (literally twice his age). This "love" was most likely little much more than puppy love, a boyhood crush or, perhaps, idolatry to take it the location of his lacking birth mother. In fact, Poe"s mother-in-law/aunt Maria Clemm later wrote, "It is true too ~ Eddie did love Mrs. Stannard through all the affection devotion of a son. Once he was dissatisfied at residence (which was really often the case) he saw her because that sympathy, and also she always consoled and also comforted him." whatever the "relationship," Poe was an extremely affected by her death."To Helen" (1831)Helen, her beauty is come me favor those Nicean barks of yore, that gently, o"er a perfum"d sea, The weary way-worn wanderer boring to his own aboriginal shore.

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On desperate seas lengthy wont to roam, her hyacinth hair, thy standard face, thy Naiad airs have lugged me residence come the beauty of fair Greece, and the grandeur that old Rome. Lo! in that tiny window-niche how statue-like I watch thee stand! The urgent scroll within thy hand — A Psyche native the regions which Are divine land!