Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nevermore?

For the second year in a row, the semi-legendary "Poe Toaster" didn't show up to leave roses and toast with cognac at Edgar Allen Poe's grave, on Poe's Birthday.

Has he met with his own demise?  I guess unless someone steps forward to let the public know, he will always remain a rather romantic mystery.

Sometime in the 1940s, it seems, an anonymous man began the annual tribute at Poe's grave. It was first referenced in print in 1949 by The Evening Sun of Baltimore.

Those who have glimpsed the "Poe Toaster" always saw him dressed in black, wearing a white scarf with a wide-brimmed hat. But he was always very secretive. No one has seen his face, and no one knows exactly why he chose to honor Poe in this manner.

In recent years, impostors have begun showing up, but according to the caretaker of the cemetery, none of them act like, dress like, nor leave the roses in the special pattern that was a tell-tale act of the true toaster. 

If indeed, this is the end of this personal tribute, it is rather sad, but I don't think that anyone should pick up the tradition. This seemed to be a very personal tribute, and no one else could continue with the mystery person's sincerity.

And it is fitting, that even in death, Edgar Allen Poe continues to have a mystery surround his name. RIP both of you gentlemen. May the roses always be at their peak of beauty and fragrance, and may your cognac be warm and lush.

2 comments:

  1. I love a good mystery of the cemetery, like the woman in black that visited Valentino's grave every year.

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  2. I read about this, and was thinking the same thing. If the infamous Poe toaster has passed, so should the tradition, forever to remain a mystery....

    ~ Carolee

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