Dead Girls, Depressed Guys, Spooky Images, Big Words
As far as recognizable voices in American literature go, it's pretty tough to do much better than Edgar Allan Poe. He uses a core set of themes and techniques again and again. Now, not all of his work is like this, but "Ulalume" makes for a pretty good example. Let's go down the list:
- Is there a dead girl with a strange name? Check.
- Is there a depressed/mentally imbalanced boyfriend who misses her so much he wants to die? Check.
- Is everything super-spooky and ominous? Check.
- Is the poem full of long, strange, beautiful words with amazing sounds? Check.
If you're reading a poem or a story with all of these things in it, chances are pretty good that you're dealing with Poe.