Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 17

Private Edgar Perry

for Edgar Allen Poe

I reported for duty,
a Bostonian, surly, moody,

Twenty and two,
not eighteen,
Yes, twenty and two
and not eighteen-
scratching words on the wall
of the latrine.
for five dollars a month.

Yes, I was only eighteen.
The Artificer of Carolina,
my explosive words
proved themselves less lucratively
than the edifice
of shells and artillery.

And at twenty and seven
not twenty and two
yes, twenty and seven
not twenty and two-
reached highest rank and then was through.
But they would not release me.
From the shells and artillery.
My last chance at worldly victory.

I was only twenty and two.
My name is Poe, not Perry.
I wish to marry.
Home, I wish to tarry,
My hardened heart I will carry.
Again, refused.

Heavy, heavy cry.
Heartache, heartache, sigh.
My half-closing eye.
And to the deep trumpet- the wild
Of human battle.

I would chronicle my voice,
"My own voice.
Like, a silly child!–"


  1. I would chronicle my voice,
    "My own voice.
    Like, a silly child!–"

    love that considering the fact that these works, examining the vices of others, a fusion of yourself and them, showcase your own writer's voice in such fine style.

    and i remember how you described your speaking voice on the voicepost you recorded...

  2. It's in quotes because it is a line from one of his lesser known, but very early works called "Tamerlane" much of the style and ideas are from that poem because he wrote it while he was enlisted.

    I appreciate that there still some of me in these, I just love that I've so far been able to tackle this project and it just wasn't a big old mess. lol.

  3. what you've done with structure and rhyme in this is wonderful, Amy. <3

  4. Thanks, Dana! I took a cue from Poe of course.


Reach for the clouds. . .

Tickle your toes. . .

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