The Poca Post Presents
The Mad Monk of Marlin
and his Gregorian Rants
Poca River Postal Authority is pleased to issue a stamp recognizing the
"Mad Monk of Marlin."
Very little is known about the man who became known as the "Mad Monk of Marlin." What is known is that he migrated to the area in the late 1940s, and took up residence in a cave above the south bank of the Poca River upstream from Grimms-on-the-Poca. He lived an ascetic existence in the small cave, coming into town on rare occasions for the only the most meager of things. On one of these trips he let it be known that he had grown up in Marlin, West Virginia. Beyond that, there is nothing known of the man.
He had a curious habit. On the morning after a full moon, he would emerge from his cave at sunrise to intone oaths and imprecations in a very loud voice. These intonations had the quality of a Gregorian chant, and could be heard for half a mile up and down the river. As time went by after a full moon people would gather before dawn on the north bank to hear the ravings of the "mad monk." Crowds would gather. There would be vendors selling food and gee-gaws. Since the man's chanting had such a medieval quality, the ravings became widely known as "Gregorian Rants."
On one morning in August of 1953, some young men recorded the rants; and the following month they played them through a loudspeaker before the "Mad Monk" had presented his usual offering. The recording was met with silence, and nothing was ever heard from the "Mad Monk" again.
The stamp was issued in a plate of 20 stamps in the denomination of 69pu. The date of issue was 1 March, 2003.