Arts / February 20, 2020
Core Story: Poe statue still inspires The Core
The Core has so many beautiful outdoor murals, sometimes you forget about all the sculptures.This one is Moses Jacob Ezekiel’s depiction of Edgar Allen Poe. It’s in front of the UB Law school on Mt. Royal and Charles, on our southern border.
Last night around sunset, as we walked by, it seemed Poe was looking up from his seat of honor there, and that he suddenly possessed the last few words that failed him, when doctors were trying to understand the mysterious circumstances that led to his death 150 years ago. We moved closer, but, alas, didn't hear anything. So, instead, we took this shot.
Though, Baltimore has a great literary past and present, no writer, not even "The Bard of Baltimore," (HL Mencken), has captured the city's heart, as much as the peripatetic Poe, who launched his literary career here, then moved around quite a bit, before his sudden unexpected end in Baltimore, after being stricken on Election Day in 1849. There is a feeling that his legacy lives on, and his presence is a part of the city. This was reflected in a letter by F Scott Fitzgerald, another famous literary vagabond, who called Baltimore home (and once lived in The Core).
He wrote: "I love Baltimore more than I thought— it is so rich with memories— it is nice to look up the street and see the statue of my great uncle & to know that Poe is buried here and that many ancestors have walked in the old town by the bay.” Fitzgerald continued, “I belong here, where everything is civilized and gay and rotted and polite. And I wouldn’t mind a bit if in a few years Zelda & I could snuggle up together under a stone in some old graveyard here. That is really a happy thought and not melancholy at all.” Perhaps that’s the way Poe felt himself, and what he would have told us last night, if he could have spoken. We hope so.