Like many young adults, I was fascinated by gothic music, art, architecture, fashion, and naturally, literature.
During my college years, I wore black and discovered my gloomy side for the first time in my life. So, when I was asked to prepare a thesis for my graduation, without even blinking, I chose a short story by Edgar Allan Poe: Ligeia.
Ever since, I stopped wearing black as much, but my fascination with Poe has not faded one bit.
Known by many as the “master of macabre,” Poe was more than just that. I believe he was some sort of a literary genius whose name was tainted by haters. From short stories like The Tell-Tale Heart to poems like Annabel Lee, Poe’s raw talent reminds us of life’s vulnerability and of what being human is.
Besides, I somehow owe my all-time favorite fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, to Poe. Yes, I know that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the creator of our beloved detective, but it was with Poe that the modern detective story had been first conceived. Ironically, the cause of his death remains a mystery.
Moreover, Poe was to literature what Jobs was to the tech-world—a pioneer. Those of us who are fans of science fiction should sort of be thankful for Poe who, captivated by science, used his poetic intuition to somehow anticipate scientific discoveries and inventions.
Since my dark knight was born on the 19th of January, I want to share these 11 Poe quotes that were eye-openers for me, hoping they might do the trick for someone else:
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
“From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were; I have not seen. As others saw; I could not bring. My passions from a common spring.”
“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”
“Invisible things are the only realities.”
“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active—not more happy—nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.”
“In death—no! Even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no immortality for man.”
“To die laughing must be the most glorious of all glorious deaths!”
“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion, even by the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.”
“There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion.”
“All suffering originates from craving, from attachment, from desire.”
“If we cannot comprehend God in his visible works, how then in his inconceivable thoughts, that call the works into being?”
Today, I thank Poe for helping me embrace myself—my gloom included. After all, as an aspiring writer, I would need to understand and gracefully accept what he said about being one:
“I am a writer. Therefore, I am not sane.”
Even those of us who do not end up being writers, we can still celebrate the madness, anyway. Will I ever reject any part of my dark side again? “Nevermore.”