nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Edgar Allan Poe

a touch of Monet

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Last week, on a drive to Plaster Rock, we passed a pond along the Saint John River filled with water lilies (Nymphaea sp.).

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Lovely. Calming. And reminiscent, in the way they lay on expanses of open water, of Monet’s water lilies at Giverny.

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When I think of water lilies, I also remember Edgar Allan Poe’s short story Silence – “And the water lilies sighed unto one another….”

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So to add to these greats, I have my own snippet from my poem ‘Bear Creek Meadow by Canoe’ (published in Canadian Stories 14 (82 ), Dec 2011 ):

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dignity quiets our paddles

hushed voices heed

the diminishing echo

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pliant as stems of pickerel weed

we honour the whisper

of wild rice

the edgewise touching

of nymphaea and nuphar

amphibian eyes

in the harbour-notch of lily pads

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we are threaded by dragonflies

drawn by water striders

gathered in a cloak of water shield

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Copyright Jane Tims 2017

 

Written by jane tims

July 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm

silence

with 12 comments

How many stories written by Edgar Allan Poe can you name?  Certainly ‘The Pit and The Pendulum’.  Perhaps ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ and ‘The Purloined Letter’.  Perhaps ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’.

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My favorite story by Poe is ‘Silence – A Fable’, published in 1837.  As many of Poe’s tales of the macabre, after numerous readings it still has the power to send shivers along the spine.  The setting of the story is vividly portrayed with words.  These were the inspiration for my painting.

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Jane Tims (2002) ‘Silence by Edgar Allan Poe’ (acrylic on canvas, 20″ X 26″)

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The waters of the river have a saffron and sickly hue; and they flow not onwards to the sea, but palpitate forever and forever beneath the red eye of the sun with a tumultuous and convulsive motion. For many miles on either side of the river’s oozy bed is a pale desert of gigantic water-lilies. They sigh one unto the other in that solitude, and stretch towards the heaven their long and ghastly necks, and nod to and fro their everlasting heads. And there is an indistinct murmur which cometh out from among them like the rushing of subterrene water. And they sigh one unto the other.

From Edgar Allan Poe, ‘Silence – A Fable’, 1837

 

‘Silence – A Fable’ describes the waters of the Zaire River and a strange man who sits on a rock along the river.  A Demon in the water, wants the man to get down from the rock.  So the Demaon sends all manner of horrors: the hippopotamus and the behemoth, and the tempest with torrential rains, thunder and lightening.  But the man will not get off the rock.  So what does the Demon do to get the man down from the rock.  You need to read the story.

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For a full text of this wonderful fable, see http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/eapoe/bl-eapoe-silence.htm

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I have a book of stories by Edgar Allan Poe that belonged to my Uncle Alec.  The stories are illustrated with wood engravings by Fritz Eichenberg.  These engravings are, in themselves, a study in horror.  I thought you might like to see a couple of my favorites.

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Illustration by Fritz Eichenberg of the Edgar Allan Poe story 'The Fall of the House of Usher' (Poe, 1944, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Random House)

Illustration by Fritz Eichenberg of the Edgar Allan Poe story ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ (Poe, 1944, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Random House)

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Illustration by Fritz Eichenberg of the Edgar Allan Poe story ‘The Black Cat’ (Poe, 1944, Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Random House)

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I wonder how Fritz Eichenberg would have illustrated ‘Silence – A Fable’.  Perhaps illustrations can never be as frightening as ‘… and the lilies sighed one unto the other in the solemnity of their desolation’.  Just try reading the story aloud!

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Copyright  2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

March 9, 2015 at 7:08 am

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