Ding Dong Treasure

Jaime spent the whole day browsing the antique store and left with just one thing.  This shop had true antiques, items that were at least 100 years old, not collectibles or other trendy vintage items like some of the so-called antique shops have.  Jaime had been hopping from one antique store to the next, till he finally got his hands on his dream piece, which he figured would be worth more than he paid for it, making it a sweet deal.  It looked to be in working order and it was within his budget and since the early bird gets the worm, he knew that he should act fast.

Jaime had made mistakes in the past buying stuff that he thought looked good, only to end up disappointed when he brought the items home and they fell apart, but now he had learned the ropes and he would not make those types of errors again.  Jaime realized that being armed with the proper information and having a keen eye would prevent him from making any more blunders.  Jamie was a collector of ephemera, what most people consider to be tomorrow’s garbage, but he liked stuff that was scarce, unique items that had cultural and historical significance, especially old out of print books with illustrations.

Jaime knew that he hit the jackpot when he spotted this signed first edition poem The Bells by Edgar Allan Poe that was published in 1849.  Poe was paid fifteen dollars for his work, and since this poem was published posthumously in the magazine Sartain’s Union, this may be the only signed copy in existence, making it a truly valuable treasure.  It was also published in Horace Greeley’s the New York Daily Tribune newspaper on the front page of its October 17, 1849 issue as “Poe’s Last Poem”.

The Bells is composed of four stanzas of increasing length and is a showcase of onomatopoeia, alliteration, repetition, and assonance.  The first stanza, a study of merry sleigh bells, is followed by a stanza on joyous wedding bells.  The third stanza is a cacophony of roaring alarm bells, while the final stanza dwells upon the sullen, rhythmic tolling of funeral bells.  As the poem progresses, each part becomes darker and darker moving from light, bubbly happiness to sadness, fear, and misery.  The creatures (ghouls) that are ringing the funeral bells are delighted by the sound and the misery they are creating.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

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