Friday, January 20, 2012
Ladies and gentlemen, the Poe toaster
Yesterday (Jan. 19) was Edgar Allan Poe's birthday and I noticed in the news that the legendary "Poe toaster" did not make an appearance in Baltimore. For decades, a mysterious figure has placed three roses on Poe's grave, made a toast and left a half empty bottle of cognac at the site on the great writer's birthday. This is the third year, according to news reports, that he did not show up. Perhaps it was because it was only meant to continue until Poe's 200th birthday (which was in 2009). The world may never know.
A lifelong fan of Poe myself, I can remember taking down our very, very old copies of his complete works from a shelf almost too high to reach, as a little girl, and reading "The Pit and the Pendulum." I don't know why, but that story really appealed to me. Maybe it was all those Saturday afternoons watching Hammer horror films and Vincent Price movies on Channel 48 with my dad, but I'm sure that we saw quite a few Poe adaptions over the years. At any rate, I always wind up going back to him, and there's nothing better than reading Poe on a dark and rainy night when the lights go out.
And as a general fan of mysterious figures and cemeteries, I am sorry to hear that there may not be any more Poe toasts of that nature. I painted my little tribute, above, to the humorous double meaning of the name, but it's meant with great love. I hear "Poe toaster" and, well, that's the first image that comes to mind (maybe it's since I don't drink, but love breakfast foods). I added in the three roses and half-empty bottle as a nod to the real toaster.
And really, wouldn't you want great horror writers' images on all of your kitchen appliances? A big nod to one of my friends who suggested a "Bram Stoker's spatula" or a "chopping Bloch" to continue that idea, though I haven't done any paintings in that vein yet. :)