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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Poe in New Jersey

Junior English major Larry Flynn had an uncanny encounter with Edgar Allan Poe over fall break.

Writes Larry:
On my drive home for fall break, I found myself strolling through the cobblestone paths of a shopping village in New Jersey, looking at Halloween decorations at my mother’s request.
Moral of the story: mothers are convincing. Alternative interpretation: I’m a patient son.

Surrounding the brick pathways were dozens of scarecrows for a small-town scarecrow festival. Some were basic, like the upside-down scarecrow next to a keg of beer, or others just poorly constructed, like the ghastly white face and button-eyes of Progressive’s “Flo.”

Then Edgar Allan Poe struck my eye.

An eerie mask protruded from his horrifying frame, looking oddly like Frankenstein’s beast, except the raven perched on his right shoulder gave away his identity. In a way, the scarecrow is a work of art, reflecting the creepiness of Poe’s gothic poetry. At the bottom was a copy of Poe’s poem, “The Raven,” which I had just read in my junior seminar.

Even in a vacation from my English courses, I could not escape the influence of brilliant literature. Perhaps that’s the “moral of the story.”

The New Jersey Poe scarecrow