Our neighbors Kathleen and Herrick invited us over for dinner Saturday evening. However, this was just any dinner, but a celebration of the life and work of Edgar Allen Poe. We were given literary assignments, and awaited the appointed time.
Laura and I walked over to our neighbor’s house. We were poured glasses of champagne and met our fellow guests. Kathleen’s friend Tammy was there, and their friend Mike had been designated to portray Poe during the evening.
Kathleen had decorated with marvelous and appropriately macabre items. There were quite a few ravens and black netting. The decorations were outstanding.
We were joined by one more friend, Judy, and it was time for dinner.
Kathleen is a fantastic chef, and this meal reflected her talents. There were four courses, each paired with an exceptional wine. The first course was a poached pear salad served on assorted greens.
The next course was a lobster bisque with scallop, paired with a nice Chenin Blanc.
In between the courses we fulfilled our literary obligations. Tammy described the women in his life. I described the curious theories of Monsieur Malliard in Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, and Laura talked about the mysteries surrounding Poe’s death.
Judy presented an original song based on The River…
We discussed poetry such as Annabel Lee and other works, and Mike answered questions and told about Poe in character.
The main course was pork tenderloin served with an amazing side of roasted Brussel sprouts, carrots, and beets, and a side of apple, fennel and celery. Incredibly delicious.
For dessert, we had a tale, tale heart shaped chocolate cake with raspberry “blood”, a nut meringue, and eyeball. Kathleen read part of the story before we eat dessert.
After dinner we had one more musical offering. Kathleen had written new words to be sung to the tune of Lida Rose and Dream of Now from the Music Man. Judy and I attempted to sing that as a duet. I’m just glad there were no video cameras running during that event. Regardless, here are Kathleen’s lyrics…
Edgar Poe, oh Edgar A Poe
You give us such a gruesome fright
Edgar Poe, or Edgar A Poe
We keep our lights on late at night
A gloomy white eye
Edgar Poe they all had to die
Edgar Poe your Annabell’s home
She’s in a tomb down by the sea
Edgar Poe you’ve just got to know
From you she wanted to be free
And what about Usher, with mold on his walls?
Edgar Poe it all had to fall.
Edgar Poe come home again Poe
Because we love you all the same
Edgar Poe a name that we know
Still lives within the halls of fame
We’d love to have met you
But no, “Nevermore”
Edgar Poe, please knock at our door.
Edgar Poe, oh Edgar Poe
(Dream of Now)
I spin a tale that
Crawls on your skin
Penned in madness
It’s such a game.
Do you think I’m
It was a strange, fun evening with friends and some fantastic food. We each even learned something about Edgar Allen Poe.
One final note…one of my favorite memories of my father was that I used to sit in his lap as he read Edgar Allen Poe poetry to me. As a school principal he had access to various books used to teach literature, and would pull out one of these to read. I remember him reading lots of Poe, but especially “Annabel Lee.” To this day that remains one of my favorite poems.