The well-traveled pun on “Poe” and “poor” is a lens through which the author views depictions of Poe in films ranging from D. W. Griffith's 1909 short to James McTeigue's The Raven (2012). Both early biopics and later films in which Poe is written into a fictional plot rely on the “meme” of Poe being underestimated and unappreciated in his own time, only to be valued highly by later generations of readers. This simplified image of Poe's character and genius corresponds with the great value placed on his literary remains (such as copies of Tamerlane and Other Poems), items valued more highly for having once been overlooked or underestimated.

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