Monday, April 4, 2011

Who Inspires All That You Are Inside?

Westminster Hall & Burial Grounds, Baltimore Maryland.

My recent voyage to the resting place of Edgar Allan Poe, master of the macabre, fulfilled one of two journeys I have vowed to make before leaving this earth.  Poe was a grand inspiration, setting to light the kindling that would eventually blaze into a passionate fire for creative writing.  He opened my eyes to a world of exposing the soul through a collection of words. 

How could the breath of a simple 'thank you' uttered to a carved stone on an overcast April morning properly express my ever-present gratitude?  It couldn't possibly, but it would have to suffice.  After all, you cannot spell 'poem' without 'poe'.  Leaving that horribly cheesy joke behind us, and in all seriousness, Poe's "The Raven" gripped me from it's very first 'rapping' and held me captivated until the dark bird's final 'Nevermore'.

Excerpt from  "The Raven":

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

As I sat among the gated peace of Westminster Hall Burial Grounds, fighting back the overwhelmingly appreciative tears that wanted to spill down my cheeks, I came to wonder how many others are touched so deeply by the writings of someone long-since buried.  Who inspires your interests?  Who inspires your dreams?  Who inspires all that you are inside?  

For me, Poe shares this inner stage with the great Transcendentalist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Ironic, considering that while living, the two despised one another -- Poe, finding only contempt for a man who shared such a profound connection with what he believed [as do I] to be the spirits of God within nature.  "Mysticism for mysticism's sake", I believe Poe called it.

Home of the Transcendental Movement and also resting place to Emerson, Concord Mass is the destination of my second voyage of gratitude, [as so mentioned at the start of this post].  I don't believe I'll have the strength to hold back the sobs when I finally find myself in the presence of the man whose heart-felt writings aided in leading me to my Pagan faith.  You cannot read his essays on nature, particularly his poem "The Adirondacs", without sensing the Divine.

Excerpt from "The Adirondacs":

'Welcome!' the wood-god murmured through the leaves,--
'Welcome, though late, unknowing, yet known to me.'
Evening drew on; stars peeped through maple-boughs,
Which o'erhung, like a cloud, our camping fire.
Decayed millennial trunks, like moonlight flecks,
Lit with phosphoric crumbs the forest floor.

Regardless of my love for Poe and of his distaste for my favorite American scholar, Emerson will forever dwell alongside the dark and dreary poet in the depths of my inspired soul.

What authors stake claims within you? 

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