We all kneel at a master’s foot. Finding that first master comes early for most creative types. We encounter them when we are ready and capable to understand. The first master that I found was Edgar Allan Poe. Very cliche, but it’s the truth, like so many others Poe is a favorite author. I talked in an earlier blog about having to fight to learn to read with my educators (If interested click here). The fire they lit in me to read and comprehend to show them the error of holding me back led me on an accelerated path with my reading.
It was third grade that my patience with the child’s fare at the Middle School library wore out. When the others perused the first shelf facing the heavy wooden double doors that led into the library, I snuck into the books for the older students. I found something that looked spooky and sounded different than giant peaches, spider webs, and wild things. I pulled it from the shelf and opened it. The words spun a tapestry that resounded and resonated like nothing I ever witnessed. It touched my soul in a way few things would ever manage.
The poetry, passion, macabre and grotesque wrapped in complex and beautiful language gripped me. I read and understood. It forever altered me. Poe showed me a different way to approach a story, weaving a deeper meaning into his work. It was layered, complex and spellbinding. I obsessed over his work. To the point that I could recite his poem, ‘Annabel Lee’ verbatim at any time for anyone who cared to hear in my sepulchre by the sea.
Who was your first master? The one who caused you to love the written word or any other creative endeavour?