Our Inspiration

Edgar Allan Poe.
Edgar Allan Poe.

Which writers move us, cause us to laugh, cry, hate, love... and cause US to write?

I have been feeling the need for inspiration lately, its difficult to explain, that feeling of restlessness, that something amazing is on the tip of your brain, but when you try putting pen to paper nothing seems good enough.

The thing I always do when I am in need of inspiration, is turn to my literary guardian angels, the writers whom I hold so in awe, that I dream of writing just one thing. A single poem or short story that would hold a candle to their greatness. I have many favourite writers whom I draw inspiration from, Marian Keyes, Roald Dahl, John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, the list goes on. And it's not just writers, great art comes in all forms, and many artists inspire me. Sam Abell, Picasso, Van Gough, Rita Ackermann even Sinead & John Kerr.

But there is one writer above all others who never fails to inspire me, Everything he's ever written is so emotive and captivating that when I read it I feel like I'm watching it all unfold right in front of my eyes, he brings up so much emotion, be it; fear, love, anger, hatred, whatever. I feel it all in waves as if I'm reading exerts from my own life. As you have probably deduced from the picture above, it is of course Edgar Allan Poe! The creator of the detective fiction genre, and the grandfather of the short story, Poe is my all time favourite poet.

It's not just his unmatched literary talent and innovative style that inspires me, its Poe the man too! He overcame so much adversity and worked so hard to be taken seriously as a writer, when he could have so easily given up! Poe was born in to abject poverty and orphaned at a young age, then fostered by a family of slave owners who (from what I have read) beat him silly! He grew up and attended The University of Virginia for one semester, until his gambling debts forced him to quit. Then went on to join the Army, and failed as a cadet.

After that he began writing full time, but as an unknown, writing for periodicals and literary journals. His first published poems; "Tamerlane and Other Poems." Weren't even published in his name! In fact his first successful published piece, and still his most well known; "The Raven." was first published in 1845, and just four years later, he was dead; at the age of forty! So Edgar Allan Poe was probably not considered successful in his day, and there are things about his life that if he were around today would get him in the tabloids. (Namely a gambling addiction and being married to his thirteen year old cousin) But still, no one can deny that in-spite of all that, he rose to become one of histories greatest Poets and Writers, and a huge influence on modern literature.

So, I am going to end this hub by asking you to please leave your comment, who is your inspiration? And why?

Annabel Lee- Edgar Allan Poe.

This poem is not only my favourite of Poe's works. It is also my favourite poem of all time. Its so beautiful and poignant, with such wonderful imagery. It never fails to move me. It was the last thing Poe ever wrote, and was first published a month after his death.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel-Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea;
But we loved with a love that was more than love-
I and my Annabel Lee;
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

The angels, not half so happy in heaven,
Went envying her and me-
Yes!- that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride,
In the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

-Edgar Allan Poe.

Comments 14 comments

George J Hardy profile image

George J Hardy 6 years ago from Southern New Jersey

Great piece on Poe - my inspirations come from many sources that I prefer to name as influences after reading their works. As one knows, opinions are formed out of curiosities that are challenged and great authors do just that.Its possible to name many who inspire, but to influence thinking is to define the purpose of great literature and that concept reduces ones choices. Presently Victor Hugo comes to mind; as he accurately and emotionally describes love in its most humbling terms for which the common person can relate.

Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Love Poe, but it has been ages since I have read much of his work. That poem is beautiful. It amazes me the wide variety of things he wrote and wrote about.

TattoGuy 6 years ago

John Steinbeck is a genius but Poe is just as good, you have great taste in writers, tis probs why ya likes me lol, but joking aside that was again another great lil hub, make sure you stay around this time, I missed you last time you went away ! x

xobliam profile image

xobliam 6 years ago

When one falls asleep one can only hope to dream as Poe...in nightmares or in heavenly bliss Poe characters just always give the maximum bounce for the buck....

N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Hi Literature Fairy,

I love your piece on Poe. That poem was great. I remember one of my teachers reading it to me in my grade school class. The Raven is the greatest Poe work to me though. Sorry. LOL.

Ernest Hemingway is the writer who inspires me. I am in love with his short stories. They can apply to today's world, which is still shocking to me.

I thank you so much for sharing this piece .... I truly enjoyed reading it.

Take Care,


Literature Fairy profile image

Literature Fairy 5 years ago from England, UK. Author

Hi N.E. Wright, It's OK I also love 'The Raven' It's wonderfully imaginative and chilling! To be honest I've never read much of Hemingway's work, but after your review i think i'll have to look him up! Thanks for your comment, I'm glad you enjoyed it! LF xXx

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

....well you are my inspiration with this fine fine selection of hubs in which you are lord and master.

And I'll let you in on a little secret - I am the one who puts the half-full bottle of Cognac every year on Poe's grave .....

Literature Fairy profile image

Literature Fairy 5 years ago from England, UK. Author

Thank you so much for the lovely comment! Are you really? The mystery is solved! Lol! But why did you stop in 2009?...

Cheers, LF x

epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

.....well a new tradition will begin then with your hubs - I will lay a full bottle of cognac at your doorstep here every week - and flowers too!

Thank you so much for your endorsement - and coming from such a great writer/thinker like you that means a lot!

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hi LF, a great hub about a writer that I haven't had the pleasure of reading. I have read To Kill A Mocking Bird and most of John Steinbeck's work. The Grapes Of Wrath is one of my favourite novels. There was a review of this book on a TV show where they pointed out that each chapter was written in a different style, a point that I had overlooked both times I read it. But the most amasing thing about the book was not even mentioned. I won't blurt it out as it would spoil it for future readers, but can you guess what it is?

Literature Fairy profile image

Literature Fairy 5 years ago from England, UK. Author

I love John Stienbeck, My favourite of his books is 'Of Mice and Men' I read it in school and have loved it ever since! I still haven't read 'The Grapes of Wrath', but it's on my list. And after your intriguing review I can't wait to get to it!

attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

The first chapter is a little odd, but then the amasing story unfolds. Let me know if you ever read it and I'll send a private E-mail about my thoughts concerning one of the greatest novels ever written. I also love "Of Mice And Men', I used to read a very censored version to my daughters, ad-libbing around the adult stuff. They loved the coloured rabits. Cheers

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 4 years ago from TEXAS

Very good. I was attracted to it because I just read one of my favorite Hubbers, Vincent Moore's poem about Poe. You might enjoy it too!


haikutwinkle profile image

haikutwinkle 15 months ago

I like the inquisitive nature of this hub. In all creative-related tasks, inspiration is a must-have element. And Nature is often the basis for inspiration ... the shape of cars, the murals on walls, the design of architecture etc.

My favorite form of poetry is Haiku. It gives me a Twinkle in my eyes when I create poems in this style. I draw inspirations from Matsuo Basho who is the founder of this poetic style. It's a simple 5-7-5 form yet contains depth in its 3-line form. It allows the writer to project two contrasting ideas or expand on one idea.

One example from Matsuo Basho:

The moon glows the same (5 syllables)

it is the drifting cloud forms ( 7 syllables)

make it seem to change (5 syllables)

To the observers, the moon appears to be constant while the clouds is shifting and changing. The writer is implying that there are aspects of life that are unchanging and constant, but may appear to be transformed through their relationship with transient events and objects.

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