I have a little time, here, on my late afternoon break...
It just about killed me, yesterday, not to correct the spelling errors and writing redundancies in my Update, after I promised to post it "as-is." I continue to key in the remaining pieces of my past life journalistic work, as Mathew Franklin Whittier, in 1831. I'm in December now, and have only a few to go. But I ran across a couple of parodies of famous poems--one of the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," and the second, a poem by Robert Burns entitled "Winter: A Dirge." Actually, I think Mathew's future wife, Abby, four years his junior, was teaching him how to write poetry along with her other lessons, as she formally tutored him. It was probably the style of teaching, back them, to give an assignment to "write in the style of" this or that famous poet, or poem. But Mathew couldn't keep his sense of humor out of it, so they became, in effect, parodies.
I found another one along this line, which he published in 1848--a deliberate parody of Longfellow's "Excelsior!" Instead of the repeated phrase, "excelsior!," Mathew substitutes the New England colloquialism, "Go it!"
The reason this is significant is that it establishes that Mathew did, in fact, write such parodies of famous works. Not a lot of them, but those he wrote, were well-crafted. So through a series of clues and proofs which I won't go into, here, I am certain that he also wrote one of the most popular parodies of "The Raven," called "The Vulture." His version of this unsigned poem precedes those printings cited by historians. It appears in a newspaper he had a financial interest in, as a silent partner, and which he contributed to heavily under a number of different pseudonyms--and under no pseudonym, at all. It is definitely his work, and it is on one of his recurring and favorite themes (mentioned even in one of his obituaries)--the intrusion of a bore. The poem, as it appears with illustrations, is part of a running series in that paper which are so-illustrated--and one or two of them identify the author, in the text, as a Boston native (which precludes the British author that historians tentatively attribute the poem to).
Here, he was writing a parody of something he had actually written, himself, which was plagiarized from him by Edgar Allan Poe. The reason that both poems became famous--the original and the parody--is that Mathew was such a skilled writer. And the reason they are both attributed (with some attendant mystery) to other writers, is that he kept himself hidden.
I could prove all this to you with examples. I am not inclined, either as regards available time and energy, or for the result. The result would be that someone would cherry-pick the best (i.e., in the worldly sense) that I have to offer, and try to claim it for themselves. In other words, bypassing my reincarnation study entirely, and bypassing Mathew Franklin Whittier's fascinating, if tragic, life, his talent and his lifetime accomplishments, they would simply use my proof to make a name for themeselves regarding this specific example. Because this example alone would be enough to put an aspiring academician on the map. But it is just a sliver in the tree of my entire study.
It is really best, at this point, that people don't take me seriously.
Stephen Sakellarios, M.S.
Music opening this page: "Gem," by Eric Johnson, from the album "Up Close"