Edgar Allan Poe Finally to Get Proper Funeral

Posted on October 9, 2009

160 years late, Edgar Allan Poe has finally been properly gotten a proper burial. Poe was found at the age of 40 wandering the streets of Baltimore, Maryland in a terrible state. He was speaking incoherently, wearing someone else's clothing and appeared to have been beaten badly. Four days later he died in a hospital with the final words, "Lord, help my poor soul."

From there it only got worse. Although he was at the time probably the most famous writer in America, his cousin Neilson Poe omitted to tell anyone he had died, and so fewer than 10 people turned up for the funeral. The priest couldn't be bothered to give a sermon, and the entire ceremony lasted three minutes.

This Sunday, 160 years almost to the day since his sorry passing, Poe will finally be given the send off that his multitude of fans passionately believe he deserved. At 11.30am, a life-size recreation of his body will be carried in a horse-drawn carriage from his Baltimore home in Amity Street, to the Westminster Burying Ground where not one, but two full-length ceremonies will be held in front of up to 700 admirers, some of whom will have travelled from as far away as Vietnam.

The ceremony is being held as part of a year-long series of events to mark the 200th year of Poe's birth. To the amusement of Poe experts, the double anniversary of the start and end of his life has led to an unseemly scramble between several US cities - notably Baltimore, Richmond, Philadelphia, New York and Boston - to claim ownership of the writer. Organisers of the Baltimore funeral are playing their ace card, exclaiming: "We have the body!"

Penniless, raving and alone, Poe died a terrible death. His fans are hoping that this stylish sendoff -- although a bit late -- will help put his soul to rest.

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