9780307474773

Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780307474773

  • ISBN10:

    0307474771

  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-09-01
  • Publisher: Vintage
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Summary

A new selection for the NEA's Big Read program Acompact selection of Poe's greatest stories and poems, chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts for their Big Read program. This selection of eleven stories and seven poems contains such famously chilling masterpieces of the storyteller's art as "The Tell-tale Heart," "The Fall of the House of Usher," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "The Pit and the Pendulum," and such unforgettable poems as "The Raven," "The Bells," and "Annabel Lee." Poe is widely credited with pioneering the detective story, represented here by "The Purloined Letter," "The Mystery of Marie Roget," and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." Also included is his essay "The Philosophy of Composition," in which he lays out his theory of how good writers write, describing how he constructed "The Raven" as an example.

Author Biography

Edgar Allan Poe was a poet, short-story writer, editor and literary critic. He was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. Born Edgar Poe in Boston in 1809, he was raised in Virginia by foster parents named Allan who gave him his middle name. Poe died of unknown causes in Baltimore in 1849.

Excerpts

The Bells

1

Hear the sledges with the bells -

Silver bells!

What a world of merriment their melody foretells!

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,

In the icy air of night!

While the stars that oversprinkle

All the Heavens, seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the tintinabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

2

Hear the mellow wedding bells -

Golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!

Through the balmy air of night

How they ring out their delight! -

From the molten-golden notes

And all in tune,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtle-dove that listens while she gloats

On the moon!

Oh, from out the sounding cells

What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!

How it swells!

How it dwells

On the Future! - how it tells

Of the rapture that impels

To the swinging and the ringing

Of the bells, bells, bells! -

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

3

Hear the loud alarum bells -

Brazen bells!

What tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!

In the startled ear of Night

How they scream out their affright!

Too much horrified to speak,

They can only shriek, shriek,

Out of tune,

In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire -

In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,

Leaping higher, higher, higher,

With a desperate desire

And a resolute endeavor

Now - now to sit, or never,

By the side of the pale-faced moon.

Oh, the bells, bells, bells!

What a tale their terror tells

Of despair!

How they clang and clash and roar!

What a horror they outpour

In the bosom of the palpitating air!

Yet the ear, it fully knows,

By the twanging

And the clanging,

How the danger ebbs and flows: -

Yes, the ear distinctly tells,

In the jangling

And the wrangling,

How the danger sinks and swells,

By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -

Of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,

Bells, bells, bells -

In the clamor and the clangor of the bells.

4

Hear the tolling of the bells -

Iron bells!

What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!

In the silence of the night

How we shiver with affright

At the melancholy meaning of the tone!

For every sound that floats

From the rust within their throats

Is a groan.

And the people - ah, the people

They that dwell up in the steeple

All alone,

And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,

In that muffled monotone,

Feel a glory in so rolling

On the human heart a stone -

They are neither man nor woman -

They are neither brute nor human,

They are Ghouls: -

And their king it is who tolls: -

And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls

A Paean from the bells!

And his merry bosom swells

With the Paean of the bells!

And he dances and he yells;

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the Paean of the bells -

Of the bells: -

Keeping time, time, time,

In a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the throbbing of the bells: -

Of the bells, bells, bells -

To the sobbing of the bells: -

Keeping time, time, time,

As he knells, knells, knells,

In a happy Runic rhyme,

To the rolling of the bells -

Of the bells, bells,

Excerpted from Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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