Friday, 28 May 2010

Day 160-In Search Of Edgar Allan Poe

This is a quaint and curious tale about three good friends on an epic journey to meet their 4th.  It is also really about a big black bird which was destined for greatness.  If I may just start from the beginning,  or should I say, the end...

Once Upon A Midnight Dreary,

a penniless poet chose to die hanging from a tree in a remote part of India. Despondent as his poetry could find no publication, he had thought that Death might  bring him the fame that had eluded him and that he could perhaps be vindicated by history.

If you can't live by your pen, you might as well die by it, the Poet thought, after all, a pen is mightier than a sword! And so in that sad poetic moment of mixed idioms and terrible grammar, the giftedly bad poet kicked the bucket he was standing on, right next to where he left his pen.

Unfortunately, no one ever found the dead poet. No one that is, except his pet raven. Adopted only for its endless supply of feather quills, he was the only one who heard the Poet choked on his last word "Nevermore.."

Meanwhile, lying Weak And Weary

was a vain and shallow Rajah on his red and luxurious bed. Consumed- if only he had-by an obsession to stay slim, the anorexic Rajah had alienated himself from friends and family for there was never any meal to share. And so on his last day when one should be dressed in only his best, the Rajah laid lamenting  how none of his fine clothes could fit anymore.

Luckily, I still have my  "silk taffeta hat", the dying dandy thought, right at the moment a raven sat on his head. 

Before the Rajah could ask the raven why his beautiful feathers were missing, his hungry heart stopped beating and he died with the bird ceremonially on his head instead of his pretty turban. Nevermore, the raven screeched, like a final nail in the coffin. Thus all hopes were dashed for our dead dandy to ever be decked out again.

Speaking of deck, now, on the same day In That Bleak December

a "bad influence" was to be punished for the unprecedented success of infecting a whole village of men with a love for drink and gamble and no more care for work. 

The heads of the village being all the wives of these men thought and rightly so that the rotten apple must go. With a unison cry of Nevermore, the women strung the rogue up high to put fear in the others before sending him to prison. Alas, just as the  same raven perched upon his bust, the drunk was already dead from alcohol poison.

Dreaming Dreams No Mortals Dared Before

And so thanks to the Raven, the three met and found in Death what they each could not get in Life. 

At long last, the Dead Poet had his audience, fans  who could not tell bad prose from poetry and after a few drinks, seemed to enjoy every single painful rhyme.

Dandy Rajah made "just as skinny" friends and to add icing on the cake that they never had to eat, "No Skin and Bones" would finally, according to this woman's magazine be really, really "in".

Last but not least, Dead Drunk found warmth and acceptance with his new poker pals and so inseparable they all seemed  that  the trio were soon dubbed Three of A Kind.  

Let Me See, Then, What Thereat Is..

This bliss lasted for what seemed a lifetime when really, it was not before long when discontent settled in. 

Dead Poet begun to yearn for wider readership. With his volumes of new work, inspired or not, he needed more and more.

Dandy Raj started to wish for new admirers.  What  was the point, he asked,  in being "in" when the crowd was only three?

And when Dead Drunk discovered "Bridge", a game for pairs to play, it was  the  final straw.   Three's no longer company, they must now make four.

Poring over an ancient map one day, the  Raven  pointed to a star. A nova in between heaven and hell,  "Al Aaraaf" was  a stop for the afterlife. The fowl stood  still by a grave  decorum and  with fiery eyes he seemed to say : That's the home of your 4th friend, Poe, the soon to be legendary Edgar Allan Poe.

The 3 friends smiled and knew at once that Poe was just the guy. He was a writer, like the Poet, always obsessed, like dear Dandy and thanks to a mounting gambling debt,  was  almost never sober.

How clear it was to sundry and all, that the fates of the Raven and the men of four would inextricably intertwine, forever more. 


On Day 160, our 3 dearly departed souls began with their prized possessions,  their long journey across the seven seas to find Poe.

In 1845, Poe's dark poem of lost love, "The Raven" shot him to fame. 

It was often said that in Poe's last days, he was almost always found  delirious, mumbling and laughing to himself. We know now, don't we, that Poe was not insane. He was not alone. 

In the fashion and style popularised by Helene, may I end this post with the following Credits:

3 skeletons bought at Daiso during Halloween 2009, now I finally know what for 
Whiskey bottle bought at the Miniature Museum of Taiwan
Raven is modified from a yellow bird bought from Bangkok and made with mainly styrofoam
Map is part of a printed wrapping paper I bought at Il Papiro in Venice
Luxurious red "bed" is actually a fabric sample for high end upholstery (Teflon finish, 59% Acrylic, 41% polyester) from Luxuriate Furnishing
Dandy's turban bought at Little India 
Deck of 55 cards (full suite with 2 "joker"cards and 1 spare forgot which card) made with graphics from wrapping paper called "Carte da Giogo" bought from il Papiro on one side  and on the other, individually designed card with the central theme on ghouls and monsters which I found on the internet
Wooden box for card made with ice cream stick and filigree piece from Chinese fan
Quill pen made with real feather from a raven,which incidentally is more commonly known as "crow" here. As Faiz puts it when I queried why the 2 names, he told me "Crows' for the movies, Raven, poetry".


rosanna said...

Another incredible post although I'm not a skeletons fan.But I do love E A Poe and his works.I have spent many sleeples hours after reading his tales but it was worth of it. I so much like the way you put things together to weave (weaving again) a story.And I love the woodden box you made. Hugs Rosanna

Merry Jingle said...

This story is wonderful :) Now I have some thinking to do... :D

sagrario said...

Es una historia fantastica,la felicito por su grandiosa puesta en escena

Glenda said...

Ah, what a storyteller you are!!
A thoroughly enjoyable tale, indeed!
And the props are fabulous, too!!

Flora said...

Sans, that history of poetry and sadness (the two always go together!). What happens now to the three friends? Meet the fourth? Please do not leave us on tenterhooks and send us their news ... The box with the cards is wonderful!

Carmen L said...

Susan Fabulous story! I loved the staging and worthy of Alan Poe. You vocation of artist and not only in the art of miniatures, as I check. By the way the game of cards in your box is incredible.
A hug artist

Debbie said...

Great Story..x

Norma said...

I bow before a master (should that be mistress??) storyteller and 'stager' of skeletons, and 'doff' my hat to you Sans.

Just the light note I needed to cheer me up after several hours spent researching rather weighty matters for my essay :)

Am I right in suspecting that these 3 slim fellows are off to rattle around with a certain Mr Skellington Poe in Finland?

julie campbell said...

LOL Sans, when I see a post from you I am smiling before I even read it ! You brighten the dullest of days and cheer me up no matter what :0)
Thank you !
julie xxx

dale said...

I was waiting for the tell tale heart to begin beating!

Love the box and the cards. :)

Sans said...

It's 11pm here, Rosanna :):) and I am afraid this time, it's me who's barely keeping my eyes open :). Woke up early this morning again and by now, maybe you already know whenever I have posted something new, it means I went to bed very late.

It has been many months since I have written a story and I must confess this one was quite difficult to do. Took me 2 days, the longest ever and if not for the fact that I had to rush out today to meet my brother and kiss XanXan, I probably would have taken even more

I am not sure if I truly love Poe's work or maybe I am just fascinated by his tragic and flawed persona :). I do think The Raven is an evergreen :).

Sans said...

Ira, I hope they all live happily ever after ;D.

Ascension said...

Una gran historia y una puesta en escena genial!!!
besitos ascension

Daydreamer said...

Wow, Sans, You amaze me as usual! Those cards are incredible! And your story so cleverly weaving all those parts together...E.A.Poe eat your heart out! I like your lighter touch with the "Raven" through it all.(Raven in my part of the world is actually a larger kind of crow with a very harsh and raspy sounding voice....I have seen crows gang up to chase a Raven away...but it is hard to tell them apart unless seeing them together):) I hope the skelleton friends find their way quickly over the are so good!

Sans said...

Sagrario, estoy practicando mi español. Meli, impresionar? ..jaja!

(Esta parte es traducida por Google) : Estoy muy contento de que les guste mi historia, Sagrario. Me preguntaba si la historia es la misma después de que se traduce al español.

Sans said...

Glenda, thank you!! Haven't written a story for so long, I have almost forgotten how. This one reminded me of the one I did last Halloween about 3 witches which eventually ended in 2 parts. Not sure if there is a part 2 for this one but it is not going to be written by me..phew :):):).

About props, sometimes I just get lucky :). Like the 1st picture, the 3 friends are sitting against a backdrop of Peranakan (Straits Malay) embroidery art (actually a plastic folder) and I did not realise that there was a bird on it until I started to write the story. Also the book they were reading had a page showing a sculpture of a bird. Sometimes things just fall into place for you :).

Sans said...

Rosanna, I was so sleepy yesterday I forgot to credit you for the inspiration behind the idea that it was the women who headed this village..haha. Re: your comment in my last post :).

Of course, I know you will never tolerate the cruelty of hanging anyone up in the air even if it was just to "put fear in the others" hehe :). That part was entirely of my doing :).

Again, it was a coincidence that I took this picture of a group of women (I already have them there) looking away when Dead Drunk was "strung up" :). Picture was taken before your comment :).

Sans said...

Flora, can I tell you I truly enjoy reading your comments, wherever and in whoever's blog. :). Probably because you speak from your heart :). Rosanna and you share this trait :). Is Cagliari close to Genoa? Have heard Rosanna mention Sardinia many times.

I hope the friends will meet Poe although I do not know how the relationships will turn out. There may be reincarnations involved too :). Maybe Mr Dead Drunk will reborn as Ms Drop Dead Gorgeous :):). All this will depend on Poe I think ;p. Perhaps he will write part 2 :). :):)

The box of card is my favourite item in the whole story as well :).

Sans said...

Carmen, THANK YOU! :) I am glad my interest in both writing and miniature making is at "hobby" level so that expectations are not high ..LOL! Having said that, I must stress that some of your standards are really high even at hobby level!

You know what is the craziest part about making this box of cards? I nearly went mad making sure that all 4 suits are complete. The box kept falling off the table and I had to remake some of the cards a few times because I lost a few of them.

First I sort out the cards in the same suit. Then I put them in a pile. Then I try to fit them in the box (that can be open) . At all these stages, some cards will go missing, I don't know why. So I keep repeating these processes. I think I did it at least 4 times!!! The cards are so small, once they hit the floor especially if it is carpet, you can kiss it goodbye. Much faster to make new ones than to try and look for them!:)

Sans said...

Thank you dear Debbie, thank you. Edgar Allan Poe became popular in England 1st before his own home country. So it is good that you like my story ..haha!

Sans said...

Norma, can't sneak anything past your sharp eyes :):). I am sure we will know soon enough if they found Poe :).

Your essays? Those work just won't let up ! :) Sheesh! :)

Thank you, Norma for reading the story! Doff? Isn't that a man's way? Maybe you should practise curtseying instead..hehe :)

Sans said...

Julie, what a reward for me to get those comments of yours ! :):). I don't really like melo-drama and tragedies. I just want happy endings ALL the time. And always always, something funny :) even if they are not "life" affirming..hehe.

Can you imagine how difficult it was for me to write about the 3 deaths without going to the dark side?

Glad they make you smile instead. Yipppppppee!

Sans said...

Ascension, muchas gracias por visita mi blog! Estoy muy contendo de que les guste mi historia y escena.

Estoy muy contento de que les guste mi historia y puesta en escena

Estoy muy contento de que les guste mi historia y escena

Triste,Ascension, estoy practicando mi espanol. (Will need to keep repeating myself and writing lines )

Sans said...

I hail thee, Dale,
Hear ye, hear ye!

I implore, be still that tell tale heart,
Let the silence be unbroken or the darkness give no token

If me Dad grave and solemn decorum of the countenance he wore
Me shalt send Scary Raven right to your Door!

Till thee scream :

Nevermore Nevermore Never!
Nevermore Nevermore Never!

Like Ye Gregorians in Alan PP's lore.

Don't you love Alan Parson's Project, Dale?? I use their song in this post.

Don't forget to fear my threat, thee he (that's "haha" in Medieval English)!

Sans said...

:):):), thank you Betsy :). I just remember snippets of other people's comments and then "borrow" them for the story. Hehe.

Like the anorexic Raj was a comment that Ira made about how the skellingtons at her Poe's house were reading woman's magazines too much, that's why they are so skinny.

Ah ha! So raven and crows are indeed different, albeit slightly. That's what I kept insisting with my friends who then tried to pull a fast one by telling me that the scientific name for both raven and crows is actually "bogimus astronomous " or something crazy like that. Thank you, Betsy, now if you may excuse me for a moment, I am going to hit my friends' heads!

Ara said...

Sans, did you make the box for the cards?? I think that was my favorite object throughout the whole story ... it looks so classy to have those wonderful cards in a dark wooden box! Loved the story!! hugs, ara

Eva said...

LOL....Great story are so clever!!!...LOL

contar said...

es un escritor que me encanta pude leer sus obras completas a los catorce años y aun regreso a ellas de vez en cuando.
un abrazo

He is a writer that I am charmed with I could read his complete works at the age of fourteen and even I return to them occasionally.
An embrace

dora said...

Susan, fantastic history, and course a perfect staging.
Your stories always make me to outline a smile, you write very well, I love to read. and see your work, by the way always master.
A very strong hug
Carmen kisses.
Well as you may have seen I had a little busy, go to Madrid to the Carnival and end the blogs days & blogs, I had a little abandoned painting, I now have it return to. To see if I have.

Sans said...

Hey Ara, I made the box and it is really really easy. I did this box to fit all the cards nicely as if the box came with them. Because of the size, there were some constraints and I could not fit the other filigree pieces to the sides.

The base and 4 sides I used ice cream stick cut to the requisite sizes and the top piece or lid was from a Chinese fan. I fit the lid piece to the box with 2 small strips of paper like hinges. Because it is a "handmade" Indian box, they are not to look like they fit perfectly, ideal for me :). Most of it is in the paint job. Piece of cake for you, Ara.


dale said...

thee, he. ;)

I just found your music on the sidebard... very cool! I was listening to Michael, so I had to figure out what you were talking about. Yes, the Alan Parsons is perfect for this entry. I like Edgar speaking as well. That's pretty cool how they did that.

Pubdoll said...

Fabulous story my dear, are you sure it's not Halloween in you part of the world?

So nice of you to name me, but I can't take credit for the credits. I've just followed the shining example of Mini Modern (may she not rest in peace for much longer)

Sans said...

Thank you, Eva :):). Since publishing it, I have't been able to finish reading the story..LOL! The skeletons are very photogenic though :).

Sans said...

Contar, I have the "Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe" which I bought years ago and it is still in the plastic wrapper ! Ok, after this I am going to unwrap it and read every story. :)

Google Translate :

Contar, tengo las "obras completas de Edgar Allan Poe", que compré hace años y todavía está en la envoltura de plástico! Ok, después de esto me voy a desenvolver y leer todas las historias. :)Gracias, Contar, para empujar mi:)

Sans said...

Carmen, estoy muy contento de que les guste mi historia :):) y puestas en enscena :).

Nothing makes me happier than to be able to entertain with my stories :). Of course, EA Poe may not be so happy with all these "artistic" liberties I took or the Alan Parson's Project song..haha. I must say they don't make music like this very much anymore. It used to be so grand!

Sans said...

Ahhhh, Helene, gotcha :). Just went to her blog and yes, her last entry was Feb this year. I am sure you know how she felt..hehe :). Send her an email and tell her "hey! Time to throw a party , girl!" :)

You know, Helene, I have decided I am not very good at Halloween stories :). And definitely not in the style of EA Poe.

Edgar, if you are reading this, APOLOGIES! I didn't have much time :):).

Sans said...

Dale, seems I am rushing out again :). It must be bed time by now :).

I love this gadget . They have a huge database of all sorts of video clips because of youtube. Now if I can emit smell from my posts, I think my blog will be quite complete! ;p

Snowfern said...

oh what a grim prose. I RIKES :E eh i just woke up maybe i'll have something more intelligible to comment later. right now all i'm thinking is "WAHHH THAT BOX OF TAROT CARDS IS DAMN COOL LOR"


Sans said...

*Teeeeeehhhh! *buzzer for wrong answer! (hey! tats your name and mine somewhere ..thee he)

Firstly, they ain't Tarot Cards!!!

Secondly, it's Poe not Grimm. LOL

Anyhoo, you know who to be nice to if you want a box of voodoo cards. :):)

Meli said...

Oh Susan, lovely story but a little bit scary for me!!! I loved to read scary books but had to leave it because I had nightmares!!!
Your are unique in posting stories in your blog!!
Warm regards,

Sans said...

I know, Meli! I only watch horror movies when I want to torture myself, lol. I never watch one on my own, not even for reading !

I am very happy that they have found Poe though :). May they now finally rest in peace !

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