5. The Poet and The Poem

The Poet

Edgar Allan Poe, a very famous American writer, lived a short, tragic life from 1809‐
1849.  His first love in writing was poetry, but he wasn‘t able to make a living at it 
until he had made his name as a short story writer. Poe was the first American writer 
to try to make a living by his writing alone, but he was always very poor. He has 
always been known more for his fiction than for his poetry. Poe is considered to be 
the inventor of the detective story, the father of the modern American short story 
and the first popularizer of science fiction as a literary genre. 

His life experiences certainly provided material for the tragic, violent,

exciting and vivid tales he told in poetry and fiction.

Most people recognize Poe by his famous poem, “The Raven”. Others may have

read one of his more popular dark and creepy tales like, “The Fall of the House of Usher”

or “The Tell  tale Heart”. Poe wrote quite a few gothic stories about murder,

revenge, torture, the plague, being buried alive, and insanity. Many modern

books and movies have “borrowed” ideas from Poe.

Some of Poe’s stories were not well accepted in his day

because people were just not ready for them‐ they were too scary.

For further optional reading: Edgar Allan Poe.

His stories and biography.