This semester, I am taking a class on Poe for one of my honors credits. On Thursday, my class and the other Poe class took a field trip into Baltimore to learn a little more about Poe and to see a play about his last few days alive and the mystery surrounding them. The first stop on our trip was the graveyard where Poe is buried. We got to see both his original tombstone and the small monument they built for him when they moved him to the front of the graveyard. It was an interesting place, with lots of vaults and above ground crypts as well as regular graves. I believe Poe would have found it to be a fitting resting place. There is a part where you can walk under the building to get to another part of the graveyard as well. There are also a lot of other notable people there and learning about them all was interesting for me.
Our second stop was the Annabel Lee Tavern. The atmosphere there was absolutely wonderful. The words to Annabel Lee were painted on the wall with some very cool visual effects. For example, the word “low” was on the window going across the room and the paint was made to look as though it had dripped down – the line was about the clouds being oppressively low. There was also a gift store with t-shirts and various other things. They have Poe themed dishes and drinks which were very interesting – including the Raven that several of the girls I ate with drank. There was a small table and picture that was basically a Poe shrine in the back of the main area and I found it very interesting.
Our third stop was the actual play we went to Baltimore to see; the play was being held at the Center Stage. It was about the mystery surrounding Poe’s death and all the speculation about it. There were a lot of references to some of Poe’s works – Sonnet to Science, A Dream Within a Dream, The Raven, and quite a few others. It actually made me happy to see how many of them I recognized without anyone pointing it out. The play was decent and the people who were there seemed to enjoy it. It was relatively crowded and there were some really interesting effects created throughout the play using lighting and other aspects of the theater.