Still Around

Hey, it’s been awhile since I posted, so I just thought I’d note that I’m still here. Still writing and reading. It’s an exciting year for horror movies too, so I’m looking forward to watching some when I can. Especially can’t wait for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and the sequel to IT. Hopefully Us and Pet Sematary if I get a chance. In the meantime, I’ll keep plugging away at my writing.

Darkling’s Beasts and Brews Poetry Anthology Now Available!

Hope people are enjoying their holidays! Just wanted to announce that I have a short dark fantasy poem called “Stolen” in the anthology “Darkling’s Beasts and Brews: Poetry with a Drink on the Side”. It’s now available for order on Amazon. You can check it out here.

Free Halloween Story

Since it’s that time of year again, I thought I’d share a podcast version of my short story “Hear Me”, which won Feed Your Monster’s Halloween story contest last year. The story was read out by Bill Derwent. It was the first time I’ve had a story of mine done in audio, so that was pretty fun. Enjoy: http://rinoacameron.libsyn.com/website/halloween-special-from-feed-your-monster

The Mutual Admiration of Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Tennyson

I’m a day late, but I wanted to post something in acknowledgment of the anniversary of Poe’s death. He died October 7, 1849. As a fan of bothPoe and Tennyson, I always found it very slightly eerie that Tennyson and Poe’s death days were just 1 day (and several years) apart. So I thought I’d share this short article that I wrote ages ago, but it still stands up I think. Enjoy.

Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Tennyson never met, but were firm allies. Poe defended Tennyson from plagiarists, while Tennyson saw Poe as an American genius.

Alfred Tennyson was not especially appreciated outside of England in the 1830s and 1840s, but Edgar Allan Poe was one of the first American writers and critics to praise his poetry. Poe lamented that not enough people recognized Tennyson’s talents. While Poe was nearly savage in his treatment of other writers, he said hardly a negative word about Tennyson.

What Did Poe Think of Tennyson?

Poe once said, “I am not sure that Tennyson is not the greatest of poets.” This was spoken during a time when not many American reviewers were interested in Tennyson. John Olin Eidson noted in Tennyson in America, that Poe never faltered in his support of Tennyson as a great writer, and encouraged others to read his works even while he struggled to get his own poems and stories read.

Poe Defends Tennyson from Plagiarists

Poe vigorously defended Tennyson in publications that he wrote for, and called out other authors, particularly Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, for supposedly plagiarizing Tennyson’s poems. Poe compared Tennyson’s “The Death of the Old Year” and Longfellow’s “Midnight Mass for the Dying Year” and claimed Longfellow took ideas and concepts from Tennyson’s poem.

Eidson points out that Poe may have plagiarized from Tennyson’s poem “The Deserted House” for his own poem “The Haunted Palace.” The publication Foreign Quarterly Review compared the two poems and said Poe’s work was Tennysonian, which troubled Poe thereafter.

What Did Tennyson Think of Poe?

Tennyson for his part returned the other writer’s sentiments, though perhaps not as frequently or steadfastly. But his mutual admiration with Poe no doubt helped the careers of both writers.

The Poet Laureate was not overly fond of many American authors, but Poe was an exception. He reportedly called Poe “the most original genius that America has produced,” according to Peter Ackroyd in his book Poe: A Life Cut Short. This is a high compliment from a man who preferred to have praise directed at himself rather than others.

Apart from his estimation of Poe as one of the best American writers, Tennyson noted to an American visitor that the one thing he would have liked to see in the United States was Poe’s grave. He also wrote a laudatory four lines for Poe after his death, in which he lamented the briefness of Poe’s time on earth, and the ridicule he’d received.

Though they were not friends, and never even met, Poe and Tennyson had an unexpected yet not surprising connection as writers. Poe helped Tennyson’s reputation in America, and Tennyson acknowledged Poe’s greatness when there were still some who said scathing things about the man, rather than acknowledging him for his great works. Though it was not a friendship, it worked for both writers.

Sources:

  • Ackroyd, Peter. Poe: A Life Cut Short. London: Chatto & Windus. 2008.
  • A Visit to Tennyson: An American Describes His Call Upon Him at His Isle of Wight Home”, New York Times. February 13, 1886.
  • Eidson, John Olin. Tennyson in America: His Reputation and Influence from 1827 to 1858. Athens: The University of Georgia Press. 1943.
  • Joseph, Gerhard J. “Poe and Tennyson”, PMLA. Vol. 88, No. 3 (May, 1973). pgs. 418-428.

Remembering Alfred Lord Tennyson on the Anniversary of His Death

On this day in 1892, Alfred Lord Tennyson took his last breath. He is estimated to have died from a short illness at around 1:30 a.m., at his home, Aldworth, in Haslemere, Surrey. He was 83 years old.

One of his own favorite poems was “Crossing the Bar,” which he requested to be placed at the end of each of his future anthologies. It seems fitting to post it here.

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Remembering Arthur Henry Hallam 1811-1833

Now for something a little different. This is Tennyson-related, one of the three (or so) things I talk about on this blog. One aspect of Tennyson’s life that I’ll always find fascinating is his friendship with Arthur Henry Hallam. They met at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1829, and remained firm friends until Hallam’s tragic death of a brain hemorrhage at age 22, OTD in 1833. As a long-time Tennyson fan and independent scholar, I just wanted to acknowledge the anniversary of his death.

Hallam inspired several of Tennyson’s poems, including In Memoriam, the one that earned him the title of Poet Laureate in 1850.

The wikipedia article on his life is actually pretty decent, if you want to read further.