raven.jpgMy tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
Regretting its roses —
Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses:


From: For Annie by E. A. Poe – 1849

The mystery visitor was back again this year. The following article was written by Kasey Jones of Canadian Press and is lifted in it’s entirety because I couldn’t re-write it as well as it’s already written.

BALTIMORE (AP) – For the 58th straight year, a mysterious visitor left birthday cognac and roses Friday at the grave of Edgar Allan Poe, author of the macabre, and was watched by more onlookers than ever, a faithful viewer said.

Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum, said 55 people braved a chilly morning to glimpse the annual ritual of the mysterious visitor known as the Poe toaster.

As in years past on Jan.19, the visitor placed a half-empty bottle of cognac and three red roses at the grave to mark Poe’s birthday, Jerome said.

Once the crowd realized who he was, people rushed to one of the cemetery’s entrances to get a glimpse, and the toaster slipped out another way, Jerome said.

He said this year’s crowd was large but well behaved, unlike last year when watchers tried to interfere with the tribute.

Jerome said he would no longer describe the visitor or what he was wearing because of last year’s unruly spectators.

One onlooker Friday dressed up to look like the Poe toaster had in a previous year, said Jerome, who has seen the mystery visitor every Jan. 19 since 1976.

Starting in 1949, a frail figure made an annual visit to Poe’s grave. In 1993, the visitor left a cryptic note saying, “The torch will be passed.” A later note said the man, who apparently died in 1998, had handed the tradition on to his sons.

Poe, who wrote poems and horror stories such as “The Raven” and “The Telltale Heart,” was born in Boston and raised in Richmond, Va. He died Oct. 7, 1849, in Baltimore at age 40 after collapsing in a tavern.