For Poe fans, Baltimore has an upcoming treat you won’t want to miss. Sunday October 11, 2009, Baltimore will give Edgar Allan Poe the funeral he should have had. Here’s what they have in mind:
Public Viewing of Poe’s Body
Mr. Poe’s body will be available for viewing at his former home, 203 North Amity Street, from noon to 11:00 pm on Wednesday, October 7, 2009. The Poe House will be open 11 hours to accommodate the public. This will be an open casket viewing.
All Night Vigil at the Poe Monument
Beginning at midnight on Thursday, October 8, 2009 until 7:00 am, a vigil will be held at the Poe Monument, located at the entrance to Westminster Graveyard. This will be the only opportunity for the public to offer their own eulogy or tribute to Poe. Assigned times will be given to people wishing to pay homage to Poe and it may be in simple spoken words, poems or music. The scheduling for this event will start in late September. A sign up sheet will be added to this website. People are welcome to spend the entire night if they desire. Poe related performances will be presented throughout the vigil. More details to follow.
On Sunday, October 11, 2009, Poe’s body will travel from his Amity Street home to the Westminster Hall for the funeral services and internment in the family plot in the historic Westminster graveyard. The procession will be led by the Loch Raven Pipes and Drums with a police escort. Anticipated departure from the Poe House will be at 11:30 am. Mr. Poe’s casket will be transported in an antique horse drawn hearse. His coffin will remain on the hearse until the start of the 12:30 pm service. The procession is expected to arrive at the hall about noon. If you are attending the first service you may want to arrive early to witness the procession as it approaches to the hall. There will be no procession for the 4:30 pm service.
As Mr. Poe’s death was sudden and unexpected exact details of the funeral are still in the planning stages. There will be two services to accommodate the expected throngs of people who wish to attend the event. The first service is at 12:30 pm and the second service at 4:30 pm. A number of people have been invited to speak and present eulogies for Mr. Poe. A list of confirmed speakers is listed below. Actor John Astin will officiate over both services. In addition to the speakers appropriate funeral music will be offered by Monte Maxwell, organist for the United States Naval Academy, who will play the 1889 Johnson organ, popular soloist Paula McCabe and a violinist. Due to the space required for Mr. Poe’s casket seating is limited to 300 people per service. The casket will be closed for the services.
Seating will be reserved and assigned. Standing room only will not be allowed.
The following people are confirmed as speakers at Poe’s Funeral:
- The Reverend Rufus Griswold (literary acquaintance)
- Sarah Helen Whitman (former fiancée)
- George Lippard (devoted friend from Philadelphia)
- George Rex Graham (editor, Burton’s Gentlemen’s Magazine)
- Nathanial Parker Willis (loyal friend)
- Dr. John Moran (Poe physician at the time of his death)
- J.T.L. Preston (childhood friend, Virginia Military College)
- Charles Bauldelaire (French writer and Poe admirer)
- Narrator from The Tell Tale Heart
- Ellen Datlow (science fiction, horror and fantasy editor)
For ticket information: Edgar Allan Poe Funeral