Driving home today I heard a story on the radio about a funeral for Edgar Allan Poe, who apparently wasn’t given a proper ceremony when he died in 1849. I haven’t read Poe in a long time, but I once had most of “The Raven” memorized. I used to write it over and over again in boring 8th grade English classes when I was supposed to be taking notes. That same year, my imagination was captivated by a story in Time magazine about the Poe Toaster, who visits Poe’s grave each year with a bottle of cognac. I cut out the article and saved it for many years after.
Later, I lost interest in Poe’s work and came to consider it a bit over the top for my taste. But I look back now with fondness for the girl who discovered his poems and stories. I think we are at our best when we love what we love and follow that wholeheartedly, whether it’s over the top or not. I’m grateful to the younger me for loving poetry and holding onto it, even through awful junior high English classes that could have succeeded in killing that interest completely. I’m reminded, I need to learn to trust that younger girl a little more often. She knows a few things I may have forgotten.