Wednesday, January 19, 2011

"Walk on Burning Embers With Your Tell-Tale Heart" - Lou Reed

Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Verlaine, Morrissey, Patti Smith ...Today in 1809 (202 years ago) Edgar Allan Poe was born. In Poe's case, it would perhaps be more fitting to commemorate the day he left the room instead of the day he came into it.

In a case of perfect synchronicity, when I turned on my CD player this AM, I had found that I had left Lou Reed's "The Raven" (his "concept" hymn to Mr. E.A. Poe from 2003) in it. When I was a reckless imp of nine or ten years of age, (& could still claim a fair bit of free space in my skull's hard drive) I committed large portions of "The Raven" to memory. Overly dramatic recitations proved to be most excellent fodder for annoying any & all adults in the immediate area.

The wood-engraved portrait of Mr. Poe presented here was made by Barry Moser, & the black & red woodcut of the raven/crow & pomegranate was carved by the late, great Leonard Baskin. He liked it so well that he used it as the press mark for his own Gehenna Press ("Gehenna" being a word that roughly equals "Sheol," which roughly equals "Hell.")

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