EDGAR ALLAN POE （ 1809-1849（
an American poet, short-story writer,
editor and literary critic, and is
considered part of the American
Romantic Movement. Best known for his
tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe
was one of the earliest American
practitioners of the short story and is
considered the inventor of the detective-
fiction genre. He is further credited with
contributing to the emerging genre of
science fiction. He was the first well-
known American writer to try to earn a
living through writing alone, resulting in a
financially difficult life and career.
EDGAR ALLAN POE （ 1809-
Evaluation and conclusion
He lived a short and tragic life.
)1(His childhood was a miserable one. He lost both of
his parents when he was very young and then he was
adopted by a wealthy merchant, John Allan. Poe’s
relation with the Allans was unhappy.
)2(He entered University of Virginia and then West Point
but did not finish.
)3(He worked as editor and writer most of his life and he
was always poor.
)4(At 27 he married his thirteen-year-old cousin, whose
death in 1847 left him inconsolable.
father of modern short story
father of detective story
father of psychoanalytic criticism
LIST OF HIS WORKS
Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque
“MS. Found in a Bottle”
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue
“The Fall of the House of Usher”
“The Masque of the Red Death”
“The Cask of Amontillado”
The Poetic Principle
The Philosophy of Composition
A POEM OF HIS : ALONE
From childhood’s hour I have not
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common
From the same source I have not
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and
The mystery which binds me
From the torrent, or the
From the red cliff of the
From the sun that ’round me
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the
He wrote all kinds of literary productions. Among all his works, his
poems and short stories are more famous.
Poems should be short, concise and readable at one sitting;
The aim of poem writing is beauty; the most beautiful thing described by a poem is
the death of a beautiful woman; the desirable tone of a poem is melancholy;
He opposed didactic poems;
He stressed the form of poem, especially the beautiful and neat rhyme.
His poetry theory is not fair at all time. For example, according to him,
Paradise Lost is not a good poem.
B. Famous poems: “The Raven”, “Annabel Lee”, “To Helen” etc.
C. All his poems were written according to his poetry theory and his poems
have strong dreamy color.
FEATURES OF HIS
a. Gothic elements
b. deep analysis of human psychology (He
noticed subconscious of human mind nearly
one hundred year before Freud. ) (He was
also the first American author who took
neurotic characters as main characters in his
c. precursor of detective stories (e.g. “The
Murders in the Rue Morgue”) and science
Poe remained the most controversial and
most misunderstood literary figure in the
history of American literature.
Emerson dismissed him in three words “the
jingle man” ， Mark Twain declared his
prose to be unreadable. And Whitman was
the only famous literary figure present at the
Poe Memorial Ceremony in 1875.
Today, Poe’s particular power has ensured
his position among the greatest writers of the
style: ordinary, traditional
a controversial figure in American literary
history (Poe was criticized by several famous
American writers, such as Emerson, Henry
James and Mark Twain. However, his works
was welcomed in Europe, especially in
great influence on aesthetism