1 September 2023 Susannah

Book Addict Admires a Literary Statue – Edgar Allan Poe

Poe Returning to Boston

I love statues of authors that incorporate references to their works. One great example of this is the bronze statue of Edgar Allan Poe in Boston, Massachusetts, the city of his birth, although he had a long-standing feud with Bostonians. It’s situated on Boylston Street close to Boston Common, and it depicts Poe rushing down the street toward where his birthplace once stood. Poe, a man always on the move, is carrying a suitcase and out of it is bursting a huge raven, in reference to his most famous poem The Raven. Behind his flowing coat is a pile of his books, and on top of them a heart, a reference to his short story The Tell-Tale Heart. There are six plaques relating to his writings on the pavements around him. The figure of Poe is life-sized, showing he was quite a small man. He has his back turned to the frog-pond of Boston Common – he was scathing about the Boston literati and transcendentalists and called them ‘Frogpondians’.

The statue is the work of New York artist Stefanie Rocknak and was unveiled in 2014. It was the Edgar Allan Poe Foundation that chose the design from 265 proposals and raised funds for the statue.

I think it’s a fabulous statue – it shows us Poe’s relationship to his native city, it gives a strong idea of his rather haunted and unhappy personality (his face looks anxious), and it reminds us of some of his best-known works.

Boston is a city I’d love to spend more time in and I know when I do go back, I’ll be popping along to say Hi to Mr Poe.

What do you think of this statue? Tell me by leaving a comment here.

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Header image- Poe Returning to Boston, by PoetishBookwormus – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=124719377

Comments (2)

  1. Honey

    I love the statue and even more the way you described it. I love seeing it with your educated eyes.

    I read lots of Poe in high school because my teachers wanted us to experience him. One story had a long code at the end of it. I spent hours and finally decoded it and felt so happy and accomplished.

    One of my favorite teachers used to read Poe, Shakespeare and other things to us. He was expressive and we felt the drama of the language and situations. He read The Telltale Heart to us and terrified us. I remember going back to visit him at school and requesting that he read it to me right there. He did. Scary as ever.

    I visited him shortly before he died and told him how much he meant to me and all that he taught me. I am a Shakespeare scholar now and love other great works because of him. I am so glad I got the chance to tell him before he died.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      One good teacher can make such a difference in a life. You were lucky!
      I must reread The Telltale Heart – thanks for the reminder.

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