Word count – 300
For Owen is just pure indulgence. It’s nothing more than an opportunity for King to dedicate something to his (at the time) seven year old son. He’s a proud parent, of course.
For Owen is a sweet poem, and I’m sure little Owen got a kick out of it when his dad read it to him, but it has no real business being in a collection, sandwiched between Nona, a story about murder, and Survivor Type, which is about cannibalism.
That being said, it would be kind of heartless for me to ding such a sweet and thoughtful addition, so I’ll give it a pass.
I got it into my head these last few days that I really should back up my stories on a disc, because if my laptop takes a swan dive I will have lost most of what I’ve done over the last quarter of a century. And that… well, let’s not think about it.
Sure, I have some of them printed out, and most of them are sitting in a folder in my Hotmail account, but most is not good enough. I wanted everything all together. I don’t want anything to be lost because I was too lazy to do anything about it.
After having an extremely hard time with blank discs that my laptop struggled to read, I zipped it all and sent myself an email. I also uploaded everything to one of those clouds for extra insurance.
Every draft of every short story. The novel, in all its iterations. The poetry. All the stuff in progress.
Quite simply, it’s everything I have: my life’s work packed up in about ten megabytes.
That’s a scary thought.
The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe – 1845
The Raven is the most well known poem penned by Poe, and quite probably the most famous poem in all of horror. It’s quite a lengthy piece – certainly much longer than the five line limericks I was quite partial to writing when I was at school – but it has a good, consistent rhythm and quite the creepy atmosphere.
Now, hands up: I’m not much of a poetry professor. I know some of it rhymes and some of it doesn’t. But if you’re the kind of person who gets excited about iambic pentameter and the differences between a haiku and a tanka, you’ll likely have a better time talking to someone else.
Poe was one of the founding fathers of the horror genre – a guy you would be hard pressed not to put on your Mount Rushmore of that particular field – but as synonymous as his name is with the genre, Poe only completed one novel in his life. It’s very impressive to have made such a lasting impression based on short stories and poetry exclusively, and The Raven is a piece that will be talked about for years to come.