Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered weak and weary…
I have paid my respects at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe and while I would have preferred to visit at midnight after a long night drinking wine, it would not be possible. They lock the gate to the grounds at dusk.
I have been to Baltimore many times before but always on the way to somewhere else so this was my first chance to visit his grave. Rather than drive downtown, I took the light rail from my hotel out near the airport and was delighted with the service. There was an Orioles baseball match that evening so the train was full of orange clad fans but I took comfort in knowing that most, if not all of them, would recognize the name of this poet who died over 150 years ago. I doubt they’d know the name of many other poets, if any.
I arrived just as the sun was setting behind the buildings near the Westminster Burying Grounds. His grave is right at the entrance, at the corner of Fayette and Greene. The monument is not from the time of his death in 1849 but was laid about 25 years later and he was moved to this more prominent spot from a plot around back.
Of course, his original resting place was more to my liking being further away from the 21st century traffic and under some trees with white drooping blossoms, now spent and falling like snow. I asked the uniformed gentleman who asked me to leave because he was locking up but he didn’t know the species.
I had some dinner and a glass of wine a few blocks away and worked on revising a troublesome poem that I want to include in my chapbook. By the time to train delivered me back, twilight had deepened and the trees were darker than the sky, making for an appropriately ominous walk back through the shadows to my hotel.
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”