Inspired by Poe

Somerset Studio put a call out for art inspired by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe a few months ago. I decided to try make a small art collage inspired by one of my favorite poems.

“The Coliseum’ is not one of Poe’s more famous poems, but I discovered it when we went through ancient Rome for the first time in our home history studies.   I’ve never been to Rome but I’d love to go someday.  When I read this poem, I can just imagine how it must be walking up to a huge crumbling structure like the Coliseum, so full of history and ‘swarthy bats’.

Here’s the first few lines of the poem:

“Type of the antique Rome! Rick reliquary

Of lofty contemplation left to Time

By buried centuries of pomp and power…

I kneel an altered and humble man,

Amid thy shadows and so drink within

My very soul thy grandeur, gloom, and glory!…

Here, where a hero fell, a column falls!

Here, where the mimic eagle glared in gold,

A midnight vigil holds the swarthy bat…”

I layered an image of the Coliseum over an image of flying bats, along with a photo of me with a veil and a line from the poem.I printed the layered photo onto a transparency and mounted it onto heavy card stock, old newsprint, and then cardboard. I printed out the text and mounted it separately. Then I inked the edges and stamped around the whole thing.

I thought this chain looked sort of antique so I used it to embellish the side, along with sheer black ribbon.

I searched through my entire junk drawer and pulled out  a few things that could’ve conceivably been found on the floor of the Coliseum: a piece of gold jewelry lost by a wealthy spectator, a carved wooden amulet belonging to a slave kidnapped from his homeland, a cross from a Christian martyr, a tooth from one of the beasts set loose in the arena, and a piece of string from a net used to entangle a gladiator. With just a little imagination….

I’m still working on more ideas for art to donate to the hospital. I have way too many ideas and not enough time.  Hopefully, this weekend I’ll have some time to get some of those ideas sketched out and colored.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and have a happy Thursday!


  1. Oooooh. This is so cool. I love Poe. I saw this call but just haven’t had the time to get something done for it. However, your project is gorgeous! Love it!

  2. I love the detail! I think we could see you on the cover! How cool would that be~ Mine is more a montage to the oddity of his mind~ It is wonderful and so beautifully haunting at the same time! Well Done~ Good luck to you!
    YOU elevated the beauty of his words~

  3. This piece is so interesting, I love the poem too. They go together perfectly. I am sure Edgar would approve.

  4. This is so Poe. As Ellen said, it is “beautifully haunting”. That’s quite a tooth you had in your junk drawer ~ lol. I’m glad you found a use for it. Best of luck in getting this published. I think it is perfect.

  5. Wow. I’ve walked through the Coliseum. I’d never heard of this poem, but it accurately captures the emotions, which you have amazingly put into visuals. You’ve brought it all back, as my brain seeks to see if you have it right. You do. Spectacular work.

    • @Brenda –(cough-cough) your last post was in january…’s april…. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much, I hope you’ll share some of your travel pics on your blog sometime, love to see them! Glad you liked this Poe piece. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Beautiful!! Wish I could craft with you!

  7. Scarlett, when I say you blow me away, what I really mean is you so freaking BLOW ME AWAY! I am so stoked you’re turning this in for the challenge. I am certain CERTAIN you will get in! Everyone keeps asking me if I am doing this challenge, and I am like NO because Scarlett is! hehe.

    Love this so much!

  8. OH i love Poe! awesome work Scarlett!

  9. WOW! I am looking at a soon to be published piece for sure, absolutely stunning.

  10. Wow this is amazing!!! Poe never looked so good….I have never heard of this poem….I love it…I love the chain you added …very nice touch!! 🙂

    Beautifully done Scarlett!!

  11. I love this..your idea looks amazing….happy week to you.

  12. I love the music choice you are using for this page………..adds such drama! What is the piece playing and the artist?

  13. Hi Scarlett .. stunning piece of art – you’re so clever – you must go crawling the Coliseum floors to find little gems of trinkets you can use .. fun and very clever!!

    Hope you got some projects done for the Hospital this past weekend .. cheers and happy times – Hilary

  14. Um, yeah. Um hum. Brilliant. Pure brilliance! LOVE everything about this – especially the chain and bag of artifacts from the rubble. I wanted to do that challenge – but I’m happy I can root for you! I look forward to seeing it in print my uber talented friend! xoxo

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