Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 245/365 Disembodied Whispers

Courtesy of National Archives

On May 27, 1827, Edgar A.Perry, age 22, enlisted in the United States Army as a private. Eventually Private Perry served two years and attained the rank of Sergeant Major for Artillery.

While stationed at Fort Monroe in Hampton Virginia, Sgt. Major Perry, miserable in the military, attempted to bring an early end to his military service by revealing his true name, Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe's pleas for dismissal were ignored for some time, but he was eventually discharged in 1829, just in time to attend the burial of his foster mother.

While waiting for his discharge, unhappy in his military obligation,Poe wrote his second volume of verse, Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems, but it went largely ignored. The reviews ran from "incoherent" to "beautiful and enduring."

Whether the poems were "enduring" or not, apparently Poe himself is. Numerous visitors to Fort Monroe have seen his spirit writing at an enlisted man's desk.

Of course, Poe is also said to be walking the grounds of his own burial at Westminister Hall. Poe’s ghost has been seen both at his grave and in the haunted catacombs. There are cold spots, footsteps and disembodied whisperings - all worthy of The Tell-Tale Heart or The Raven.

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