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Terreson Profile
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The Conquerer Worm


I F****ing hate this poem of Poe's. First read 42 years ago. I hate it now like I hated it then.

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Tere
Jun/20/2011, 12:50 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
elizabeth anne Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


What is it you hate? It's a beautiful poem. It rhymes.

I don't understand what's bothering you, Tere emoticon

(OK, it's dreck, but I'm not, overall, a Poe fan)

Love that the link is "[sign in to see URL]" (LOL)

Last edited by elizabeth anne, Jun/22/2011, 12:05 am
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Terreson Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


I hate the poem's inescapable truth, Liz. Poem is perfect. What it says drills me the way it did at Fort Meyer, outside of D.C., Dec. 1970.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Jun/25/2011, 1:32 pm
Jun/22/2011, 12:23 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
elizabeth anne Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


That last post probably sounded too sarcastic. Apologies. (I had spent too much frustrating time on another board.)
I'm going to leave now, maybe come back in a few months..................

--Liz
Jun/22/2011, 9:33 pm Link to this post Send Email to elizabeth anne   Send PM to elizabeth anne Blog
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


Hope you change your mind. Poetry boards can't solve things. But they can make connections between poets, the tribe.

Tere
Jun/23/2011, 5:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


Aw Liz,

Don't stay away. For what it's worth, I never got Poe either.

Chris
Jun/23/2011, 6:13 pm Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
elizabeth anne Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


You must know me by now--I always come back, even in my shame.

Thanks, Chris. No, I don't get Poe. Sorry, Tere.
Jun/24/2011, 2:31 pm Link to this post Send Email to elizabeth anne   Send PM to elizabeth anne Blog
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


Nothing to say sorry for, Liz. If I may say so, give your new board a chance, this one, and there will be days when it offers relief [sign in to see URL].

About Poe and this poem of his. I've told the story before but perhaps it bears retelling.

Dec. 1970. I am visiting a family in the D.C. area, the guest of a girl I knew then. We were up from Durham N.C. She a Duke student. Me a high school flunkie. We lived together, along with another girl and Duke student. Those two girls, then they were older women to an 18 year old, kind of initiated me into both music and into literature, emphasis on poetry. They were smart. I was not. More accurately I was a very young Percival type. Unlettered, inexperienced, a young fool with a capitol F. We lived together on a street situate between Duke's two main campuses. Our house, an old and drafty mill workers house would become famous to the local liberal arts types. More than a few wine assisted convocations took place in that house on Oregon St. Rent was $30 a month split 3 ways. I was working in a pizzeria, entitled to one large free pizza for every shift. We ate a lot of pizza.

G. went home to her parents in Arlington, VA that Christmas. Maybe she felt sorry for me when she invited me to spend the holiday with her and her family. My family was several states away, mostly down in FL, and mostly I had become a stranger to them. G. might have been sweet on me too. I think she was but never got around to finding out. Didn't seem right, even to a fool, as I knew I didn't love her. I think she was because she asked her parents if we could sleep together. Of course, they said no.

About her parents. G. was an Army brat. I remember her mother as a quiet woman but a sharp, alert listener who paid attention to little things. Her father was a Colonel and a judge in the military's legal system. In spite of my anti-militaristic position then (and now) I took to the man. He was a thinker and fair minded. I remember a year later, and another Christmas spent with the family. As a card carrying leftist I had been invited to join the Vince Remos brigade, go to Cuba, experience the "peoples" society, expenses paid. Colonel S. advised me, he said: 'You should go and see for yourself.' Fair people they were. (footnote: when I learned peasant women would see to my laundry I bowed out, thinking, what the hell kind of revolution is that?)

Christmas 1970. One night G. says we should take in a movie on the cheap. I say okay. Christmas 1970. The Nam war has reached to its utmost height of madness. America is losing and in denial about it. G. drives us to Fort Meyer in D.C. Passing the guard house I could smell then, remember now, the acrid sense of fear and fatalism on base. Soldiers knew, those coming back and those about to be shipped over, what generals would not tell them. America has lost its first war and no exit in sight.

G. knows her way. We make for the PX. We buy our theater tickets, we step inside. Green clad soldiers in their fatigues is all I see, theater crowded, G. one of the few women present, me the only long hair.

The movie. The projectionist or theater manager I am certain was a god damned subversive. Saturday night selection making a statement on an Army base. It is called "Witch Finder General (or Conqueror Worm)". The story is set between the years of 1642 - 1648. The years of the English Civil War between Royalists and Cromwell's roundheads. A bad time in England, desperately bad time. No civil order and little civility. No law.

The story involves two young, idealistic people in love. A young virtuous woman of respectable upbringing and a roundhead, a Cromwellian soldier believing in truth, rightness, and justice. It also involves the Witch Finder General, one Mathew Hopkins, 1620 - 1647, who appointed himself to his office in order to seek out, force confession from, and execute witches in Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk. (estimated he saw to the death of 300 women.)

Roundhead away at the war, his lady fair undefended, Hopkins lusts after her, his attentions rejected, he declares her a witch and arrests her, roundhead finally returns, sword fight with the Witch Finder General, Witch Finder killed. Movie's last scene has the two idealists reunited but so filled with the horror of their Age they cannot look at each other, much less embrace. Pretty good story actually. Just a grade B movie with Vincent Price playing the Witch Finder General.

Dec. 1970, Fort Meyer D.C. The movie finishes. What then scrolls up the screen is Poe's "Conqueror Worm". The house is still while all read Poe's poem. No one looks to step away from their seats. A "funeral pall" indeed falls over us all. Those boys maybe as unlettered as me back then got it. This is why I hate the poem, fearing the truth of it.

Tere

Last edited by Terreson, Jun/25/2011, 3:14 pm
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Katlin Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


Wow, reading the poem in light of your comments, Tere, gives it a whole new meaning and relevance. Thanks for that.
Jun/24/2011, 9:00 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Coming back to add: Liz, no shame, no blame. If your comments provoked Tere to tell his story, I'm glad for them.
Jun/24/2011, 9:05 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


Farewell to Edgar Allan Poe Toaster a 60-year old tradition
 
On Edgar Allen Poe's 203rd birthday Thursday, the annual visits from the "Poe Toaster" have come to an end.
 
Every year on the author's birthday, a mysterious figure dressed in black with a white scarf and wide-brimmed hat has visited Poe's Baltimore grave to leave three red roses and a half-drunk bottle of cognac. The first sightings of the Poe Toaster were recorded in a 1950 article about restoring the cemetery's church. Church members recall hearing about Poe's visitor in the 1930s, the Times Union says.
 
Unbroken for over 60 years, Poe fans waited anxiously as the toaster failed to appear in 2010, then again in 2011. Finally after a third year, Poe House and Museum Curator Jeff Jerome has called an end to the tradition.


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Sorrow for the lost 'Poe Toaster': No cognac, roses left at grave

For the third year in a row, the “Poe Toaster” -- who regularly marked the birth of Edgar Allan Poe with a tribute of three roses and cognac -- failed to make the nocturnal trip to the writer’s original grave in Baltimore, thus apparently ending a tradition that lasted more than half a century.


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Jan/21/2012, 11:37 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: The Conquerer Worm


I say it is time to institutionalize the tradition. I am looking for Son, or Daughter, of Poe Taster.

Tere
Jan/21/2012, 3:50 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 


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