Friday, February 27, 2009

The Raven...Nevermore

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary..."

If you've forgotten, that's how Edgar Allen Poe's famous poem The Raven begins. See, I know it by heart now since Jack has been trying to memorize it this entire week for his public speaking class. He prides himself that, even though it's very long, he really liked it so that's why he picked it. Luckily, when he was struggling with the entire poem, the teacher backed down from the original 18 stanzas and is only making him recite 7. So, every night, all this week, I've been reading and listening to this wonderfully written masterpiece. And, it led me down a path this morning and I found Urban Threads...


Their site is full of very hip and urban machine embroidery and hand embroidery designs similar to Sublime Stitching and including this design Nevermore. I just purchased a number of them but my all time fave is this one...


They also offer a free design every month...last month was Nevermore (I missed it!) -- this month is this design which is also their logo...


I also really enjoyed reading through the archives of their blog. They have done a great job of creating a very vibrant embroidery community. There's even a Flickr site for pictures of items made from their designs. Loved it!

And, another connection is that Edgar Allen Poe spent most of his life reading and writing within the city of Baltimore, my hometown. This year there is a year long celebration titled Nevermore 2009 to comemmorate the 200th anniversary of Poe's birthday which is January 19.

Pic courtesy of mikeyexists

Poe's home and grave are both located in the city and every year on his birthday the Poe Toaster comes and leaves three roses and a bottle of cognac on his grave...and it's been happening since 1949.

There are two great posts about Baltimore and Edgar Allen Poe by my fellow Baltimore blogger, Meg Fairfax Fielding at Pigtown Design -- one about The Raven and one about The Poe Toaster. And there's a wonderful website to checkout here titled Knowing Poe.

Let's hope Jack doesn't falter and fall prey to the Raven's lament...or his public speaking career may be...

oh, come on, you know what I'm gonna say... yes, and even though it's hokey, I've still got to say it...and then I promise I will do it...

Nevermore.

6 comments:

Camilla La Mer-Art Dolls said...

I find it so fascinating that the Raven has been a theme in my life over the past few weeks...including the purchase of my Folkmanis Raven puppet...Now you inform me of the celebration of Edgar Allen Poe's birthday in Baltimore and your son's fabulous recitation project...Have you seen Megan Noel's many wonderful blogspot posts sharing her Raven artwork pieces over the past weeks???
http://megannoelart.blogspot.com

Good luck to Jack on his quest to absorb and digest The Raven!

xoxo C

Judy S. said...

Hi Susan, Another thought....the PNW Native Americans use a stylized raven in their artwork. Maybe Jack would enjoy that? Anyhow, your memorizing post reminded me of a long ago assignment to learn 25 lines of Shakespeare and the jokester in our class that stopped midsentence. Kids!

Pigtown-Design said...

Thanks for the shout!

Have you seen the Enoch Pratt Library's fabulous logo for the birthday year? It's a stylized raven that also looks like an open book.

One of the best recitations of the poem is Garrison Keiler saying it as if it's a story, not a poem.

Eva said...

i think it's very important to learn a poem by heart every now and then, especially a good one. some of the stanzas i have memorised as a child have shaped the way i think and feel now. they have become more than words or stories, but truly a part of me. what better gift to give to a child than to learn a poem together?

i have first encountered Poe in Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles. there is a story in there about a time when all fiction is forbidden, but one man who is aware of its importance builds "the second house usher". it made me so curious about Poe that my next book after the Chronicles was a book of Poe's short prose.i thought i had forgotten that, but you made it all come back. i wish i had a copy of Mrtian Chronicles...

jessi said...

I just had my students read the first few stanzas so we could talk about rhyme, rhythm, repetition, and consonance. One of them liked it so much, she's using the entire poem for her project!

I loved that tidbit about EAP's grave. How great that the people of Baltimore still remember him and pay tribute.

disa said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.

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