Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who is the Poe Toaster?

Edgar Allan Poe is buried in the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore. Since 1949, every January 19, Poe's birthday, a mysterious visitor dressed in black and wearing a fedora hat has left on the original marker of Poe's grave a half-filled bottle of cognac accompanied by three red roses. The significance of cognac is uncertain as it does not feature in Poe's works as does, for example, amontillado. Several of the bottles of cognac from prior years are on display in the Baltimore Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. It has been suggested that the roses represent Poe himself and the two women who were most important to the poet during his troubled life: his mother, and his wife, both of whom are in repose in the same cemetery.

However, there is some dsipute about the 'Poe Toaster', as the mysterious visitor is called, and we have a look at that in the Edgar Allan Poe page in the Scriptorium.



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