As is always the case on January 19th, there is a cake cooling on my stove. Every year for close to 20 years I’ve baked a cake for Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday. I don’t even bake a cake for my own birthday, but I would much rather celebrate his birthday than my own so I continue with the tradition.
Poe has always held a special space in my heart. I remember reading a short story when I was too young to understand most of the words. I have a vivid memory of sitting on my grandparents’ basement floor with my dictionary in one hand and “Hop-Frog” in the other. At the time, I had no idea who the author was, but I knew I loved the story. In high-school I described this story to my English teacher in hopes of finding the author and story again. A smile spread across her face, she walked to her bookshelf, and handed me a collection of Poe’s short stories.
Poe has inspired my writing, thinking, body art; my husband even agreed to marry me within the over 200-year-old stone walls of the Edgar Allan Poe museum in Richmond Virginia. And every year, on this day, I pay respects to a man who has influenced so much of my life. Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Allan Poe.
As a side note, you should read this letter. Aaron sent it to me today and because apparently I’m now an emotional person, I cried about it. It’s a beautiful letter written to Poe on his birthday which perfectly and eloquently speaks of a love for this man that I could never express as beautifully as the author does.