Mon, Jan 25, 2010 - Page 14 News List

‘Poe Toaster’ misses 60-year ritual at poet’s tomb 「艾倫坡祭酒」六十年來首度缺席坡冥誕

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A mysterious visitor who each year leaves roses and cognac on Edgar Allen Poe’s tomb in Baltimore, Maryland, last week missed his rendezvous for the first time in 61 years, the Poe Society said.

“He did not show up this morning,” Jeffrey Savoye, secretary and treasurer of the 380-member society, told AFP.

Each year since 1949, the 100th anniversary of Poe’s birth, an often-times cloaked individual left a bottle of cognac and a few roses at the foot of Poe’s tomb, usually at night, in tribute to the legendary poet.

“Occasionally he showed up early, like 11pm-11:30pm the evening before. But normally it’s from midnight to 5am,” Savoye said.

Around 50 people waited in vain to watch the “Poe Toaster,” as the visitor has been dubbed, he added. Many traveled from across the US for the 201st anniversary of Poe’s birth.

“As far as we know, they have not missed a year until now,” Savoye said of the Poe Toaster.

The original yearly visitor apparently died in 1998, but left the pilgrimage up to his two sons.

“We were left a note some years ago saying that the original toaster had died... We interpreted the message that the torch will be passed ... We are assuming that two sons of this person have been carrying it on,” he said.

“We don’t know who they are.”(afp)

「坡學會」表示,每年都在馬里蘭州巴爾的摩愛德嘉.艾倫.坡的墳前,留下玫瑰花和干邑酒的神秘客,上週沒有現身,這是六十一年來第一次。

有三百八十個會員的坡學會秘書兼財務傑弗瑞.薩伏伊對法新社說:「他今早沒有出現。」

自一九四九年坡的百歲冥誕後,一名斗篷客常會在半夜來到他的墳前,留下一瓶干邑酒和幾枝玫瑰花來紀念這位傳奇詩人。

薩伏伊說:「他偶爾會比較早出現,大約在前晚的十一點到十一點半間,但通常都是在半夜到清晨五點間造訪。」

他說,那天約有五十人等著看這位被封為「坡祭酒」的廬山真面目,結果撲了個空。許多人從美國各地齊聚至此,祝賀坡的兩百零一歲冥誕。

薩伏伊提到這名坡祭酒時說:「據我們所知,他們在此之前從沒缺席過。」

原本每年出現的那名訪客似乎已於一九九八年逝世,但將這項瞻仰之旅的任務託付給他兩名兒子。

他說:「若干年前我們收到一張紙條,上面寫著原本的祭酒已經去世…。我們把這訊息解讀為這個活動將傳續下去…。我們認為此人的兩個兒子傳承了這項任務。」

「我們不知道他們的身份。」

(法新社╱翻譯:袁星塵)

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