One of the reasons we called our daughter "Poesy" was so that we could shorten her name to "Poe," as in "Edgar Allan," and since the early days, we've recited bits of The Raven and others to her (I like saying "The Bells" while I'm trying to get her to sleep). One of my favorite Poe adaptations is jazz poet Lord Buckley's "The Bugbird," a too-awesome-to-be-believed translation into the "semantic of the hip," circa 1950. It's really fun to recite and the kid LOVES it.
It was a real drug midnight
I was goofing
Beat and weary
Over many a freakish volume of forgotten score
When suddenly there came a tapping
As if some cat were gently riffing
Knocking rhythm at my pad's door.
Ah, "'tis the landlady," I muttered
On her broom she flies the rounding
Sounding for her rent
WITCH only this and nothing more
Ehh, ooh, will I ever get out of this feeling?
Ah, so solid I remember,
It was in that wrought December
And it's swingin', jumpin' ember
Blew it's phantom upon the floor
Groovily I woo'd the morrow
Still hung I sought to borrow
From my book kicks
To knock the sorrow
Sorrow for my gone Lenore
For that sweet, square but swingin' maiden
Whom the fly chicks tagged Lenore
Nameless here forevermore
The Bugbird ("The Raven"),
A Most Immaculately Hip Aristocrat (CD)
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