Updated: Jan 30
By Bob Deakin
There’s a new chill in the air here in New England. The last of the hay is being cut, the trees look ready to undress themselves and I’m the proud new owner of a couple big pumpkins.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween. This is the only time of the year I can read Edgar Allan Poe and not feel like I’ve just done something wrong. I like his style, and especially the rhythm he uses in both poetry and prose. The subject matter can be a bit dark for my taste, but around Halloween it’s just right.
Music is a big part of the season and the film score of Dorian Gray by Peppino De Luca in 1970 hits all the right notes. It too is dark but in a more delicate way. I hear it every year at this time, always outdoors and in the sun, and it’s hauntingly beautiful. It has a wide range of emotions, most of them on the dark side, but it’s mesmerizing.
You have to be there.
Connecticut is Halloween central with all the forests, farms, lakes and a particular mixture of light and shade when the sun dips low in the sky, bending around all the low, rolling hills. It can be downright scary when it rains, but when it’s sunny the possibilities seem endless.
Getting back to Poe, I am reminded by a line in one of his short stories.
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
Yeah, I’ve done some daydreaming in autumn and I might do it again. I usually only do it this time of year so give me a break. Now that I think of it, Christmas time is good for that too, but I digress.
I can’t wait to get out tomorrow in the crispy sunshine near an old graveyard with the smell of freshly cut hay and maybe a brush fire off in the distance. It may sound a bit creepy but it’s good clean fun as long as you don’t let your imagination take you in the wrong direction.
Which reminds me of another line I’ve seen attributed to Poe, although from where I don’t know.
“The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk in our souls.”
Was he alive when he wrote that? I don’t see it in any of his works. I’m looking too deep into this. I’ll wait a couple more days before I read any more Edgar Allan Poe.
I hope it’s sunny tomorrow.