November 26, 2007


Photo credit: sektordua by way of

Welcome to Poe Week at Goat Rope. Why now, you may ask? Why not?

Besides, we are approaching the bleak December and it won't be long before each separate dying ember will have wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Also, Poe was a big factor in my life. El Cabrero was a haunted child, thanks largely to the efforts of my old man.

When I was a very little kid, my dad took great delight in reading Edgar Allan Poe's stories and poems aloud to me. They scared the bejesus out of me, and I loved every minute of it.

The Telltale Heart, The Black Cat, etc., and especially The Raven, much of which I once memorized.

My brother, who was eight years older, was keenly aware of all this. He took his own great delight in picking up a phone, pretending to dial the Plutonian shores, asking to speak with the Raven, and requesting that he come get his little brother Ricky.

The Poe factor was amplified when I spent time at the ancestral farm in Tazewell, Va., just across the McDowell County line. It was an old crumbling place in an isolated hollow with a mouldering family graveyard on the hill. Nights were darker there. I spent a lot of time alone soaking up that atmosphere as a kid.

Holy fall of the house of Ussher, Batman! I'm not saying it was haunted but it definitely had hoodoo.

Normality was never an option.

Aside from link and comments about current events, there will be a Poe theme here every day this week.

Only this and nothing more...

TALK ABOUT SOMETHING SCARY. Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz discusses the nightmarish Bush legacy here.

ON THE SAME NOTE, here's a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that does a good job of mythbusting about tax cuts.

ARCHIVEGATE GOES NATIONAL. The fallout from the Manchin administration's unsportsmanlike firing of a dedicated WV state archivist continues. Here's a summary from Lincoln Walks at Midnight.

THIS IS KIND OF FREUDIAN. Old Sig could have a field day with Poe--jeez, where would you start? According to this article, Freud is alive and well in university classes, but not so much in the psychology departments.



BJ in OH said...

How interesting....I didn't know MGW read to you guys. I do know that you read to your kids, tho. Wonderful thing to do ... but I fear it's becoming a lost pastime. You rock, El Cabrero.

p.s. I'd love to visit that farm; is it out of the family now?

El Cabrero said...

He wasn't around a whole lot at the time but managed to drop a Poe bomb.

The farm was sold but I've visited it a few times. The owner at the time didn't mind.

That side of the family was cool--crazy Celts! Some fought in the Revolution.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Stiglitz’s article is much frightening that Poe ever was.

El Cabrero said...

Roger that.

Anonymous said...

Hi-I came over from Crackskull Bob (as Rennie). My Mom was born in Tazewell, Virginia. And my study for the last twenty yeara has been on Poe, and a Master's thesis.