Thursday, January 19, 2012


All That We See or Seem Is But a Dream Within a Dream

The fabled Poe Toaster, who for decades had commemorated Edgar Allan Poe's birthday by leaving three roses and a half-drunk bottle of cognac at the author's Baltimore grave, failed to show for a third straight year last night, bringing a close to one of Baltimore's most enduring — and most mysterious — traditions.

Will we ever know who it was or what has happened to them... if they even existed in the first place?

22 Comments / Post A Comment


Is it wrong that I want someone to CSI this thing and look up everybody who died three years ago in that city and narrowed it down to people who were old enough to have been doing this as long as it's been happening and lived in the city all that time?


@wharrgarbl Not at all! I'm so curious about this.


@travelmugs Not to mention that they've pretty well earned their own round of roses and cognac.


@wharrgarbl Couldn't it possibly have been a family thing though? Like, father/son?
Also it's lame that the Toaster is clearly dead but no one can take up his mantle! Come on guy! Although I think it's pretty obvious the outfit involves a long black cape, no?


@wharrgarbl Not necessarily death. Could be in a nursing home, with dementia, or have had a stroke and not be very mobile, etc.

Either way, :(


@Craftastrophies True. Depressing, but true.


This is really good.@t


This is...really sad.

Lili L.

Annabel Lee herself would weep at this news. Still, confusingly, the "poe toaster" pun curled my toes, such was my delight.


Is it bad that I was hoping the Poe Toaster was an appliance that quoted Poe at you while it toasted your breakfast?


@Craftastrophies AND it has a little raven on the front. I'd buy it.

Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook

@Craftastrophies OR it toasted the word Nevermore into your bread.


@Craftastrophies I was hoping the exact same thing.

fondue with cheddar

@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook You spelled AND wrong.

I want this toaster to exist.

Anthea Thurston@facebook

I work in a neighborhood in Baltimore where the Poe toaster is said to have lived. There was a man who hung out in a lot of the old sailor-y bars that had a deep affinity for Poe. He died three years ago, right when the toasting stopped. It's a pretty cool story though and anyone can visit Poe's grave and leave their own flowers!

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@Anthea Thurston@facebook WHOA OMG MYSTERY SOLVED.

I can't help but misread this as "Poetaster" like the Miracle Fortress song, even though I don't remember how it goes.


I saw this on the local news last night, and they interviewed the guy that organizes the all-night vigil to wait for the toaster. I was just flipping past, but he said something like, "We saw a few wannabes, but not the real Poe toaster. These people should just realize they are nothing but a cheap imitation."



@mustelid Oof, I know, right? I bet that was WBAL, wasn't it?


@mustelid o_O That is some judgy stuff right there. I mean, seriously. There is only so much you can do alone at a grave while paying respects, and none of that really lends itself well to calling people doing the same basic thing "cheap imitations." Unless the original brought a marching band to play "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" while he drank half the bottle, then wait in respectful silence while he deposited the other half and the roses on the grave, after which a trained raven declared "Nevermore!" on cue?

fondue with cheddar

@mustelid Maybe THEY are the reason the toaster hasn't shown up in three years.


@jen325 Yeah, seriously! Maybe the Toaster was like, ugh, getting too crowded for this bullshit.


@Anji Hahaha yes it was! Also sup fellow Baltimore pinner?

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