Edgar Allan Poe's writing made a great change in literature. The short story became a genuine genre with his classic stories. As the first American mystery story writer and with a detective, his story "The Murder at the Rue Morgue" began a totally new type of story. From the length of his stories to the subject, Poe's writing was unique.
Broaching subjects like murder, perverseness, revenge, psychological problems--these were the new exciting stories that Poe churned out. During his short lifetime, he was not appreciated; after his death, he was considered the father of the short story.
His stories are considered classics and should be read by any English speaking person. "The Cask of Amontillado" is considered by many literary critics as an almost perfect short story. But the others are equally intriguing: "The Black Cat," "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Masque of the Red Death," and many others.
Walt Whitman, the great American poet, labeled Poe as a genius and his poetry as beautifully written. Certainly, many of Poe's are considered to be classics and some of the best know poems in American literature.
George Lippard, a writer and critic for a Philadephia newspaper wrote about Poe:
Poe 's mind is stamped with the impress of genius. He is, perhaps, the most original writer that ever existed in America. Delighting in the wild and visionary, his mind penetrates the inmost recesses of the human soul, creating vast and magnificent dreams, eloquent fancies and terrible mysteries.
Poe's poem "The Raven" stands alone as a classic verse and accepted as one of the great American poems. His other poems added to his accreditation as a first class poet: "To Helen," "The Bells," "Annabelle Lee."
When is a contribution to literature considered great? Writing has to be changed forever. With his unique approach to the short story, Poe's name will go down as the first mystery and horror story writer. Stephen King can thank Mr. Poe.