I was diagnosed with Bipolar I in college. After a clear manic episode while going to Temple University, a psychiatrist working on the campus prescribed me a mood stabilizer, along with the depression and anti-anxiety medications I was already taking.
Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death” is perhaps one of the most iconic works of horror literature in history. It’s also perhaps my favorite of all of Poe’s short stories, with “The Fall of The House of Usher” a very close second. Beneath the surface of “The Masque” lies a multitude of hidden meanings and symbols, just waiting to be discovered.
First published in 1842, “The Masque of The Red Death” is considered one of Poe’s finest works and is set in a world ravaged by plague. In this story, Poe combines his signature themes with a stern moral lesson about mortality and death’s inevitable presence in life.
God is a cosmic vending machine that dispenses whatever we want. He is a genie that grants us three chances to get revenge. He will not hold us from suffering. God will not hesitate to kill us if we do not listen to the frenzied singing of his various devils in our world.
Look around you. Do you see that red glint in the eyes of your lover? Do you see the steam rising from the hole in the ground? Do you hear the wolves howling at your front door? Do you think God is merciful? The last time I checked, God was eating away at my insides, and He whispered in my ear that he would tear my body to shreds and spit me out into the cosmic void.
God is part Rapture, a part Fiend. God is everything you don’t know, will never know, and can never know. The fear of the unknown, the churning disorder of your terror attacks. God is the most dreadful face you have ever seen. God is reading this right now and is planning his attack. God called me on the telephone and told me he hated me. God does not exist. God is everywhere. God is in the in-between spaces. God is a ball of fire. God is a murderous homeless man.
God is not this, nor is he that.
Thank God for this prayer. Thank God for the times you left home and didn’t go back. Praise God for the weeping of the saints. Let God know you love him every time he punishes you. Say a prayer for the meek that will inherit the alien planets, and then set fire to your house and dance on the ashes.
Clouded with snow The cold winds blow, And shrill on leafless bough The robin with its burning breast Alone sings now.
The rayless sun, Day’s journey done, Sheds its last ebbing light On fields in leagues of beauty spread Unearthly white.
Thick draws the dark, And spark by spark, The frost-fires kindle, and soon Over that sea of frozen foam Floats the white moon.
Note: This poem is part of the public domain and can be found here. Walter John de la Mare (1873-1956) was an English poet, novelist, and short story writer. He’s best remembered for his works for children, along with his acclaimed selection of psychological horror stories, such as “All Hallows.”
Storm clouds gather in your eyes I knew you were a muse, long ago Brought the idyllic view of her gaze Echoes of brighter days, morns Black secrets hurried into the hills Day of another temptation Muses sing and always leave Go into the nighttime, grieve them
On this day in literary history in 1913, American poet Joyce Kilmer wrote his famous poem “Trees.” Joyce Kilmer was an American poet born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1886. He graduated from Columbia University and began his career as a writer and journalist. In 1913, he published his most famous poem, “Trees,” which was an ode to the beauty of nature.
Shattered in the glass deep-sea Combed the daylight for my body It was lost in the sun’s stomach Rose on a bending of galactic cries Twisted in the loss of my face Sharing the fire scent of space Love makes a night complete