Poems Attributed to Poe (that aren’t his.)
by Ann Neilson
Earlier this afternoon, I discovered some poems of Poe’s that I had never read!
Actually, the iPhone app “Time Hop” oh so kindly took me back to a Facebook status where I had quoted a Poe poem called “The Village Street.” Not recognizing the poem, I immediately did a search to see where in the name of Davy Jones I had found this poem. Upon finding the poem in question, I found three others which were attributed to Poe, all listed on this website. Being that they were unsigned by his name, and after reading through them, I became skeptical and went to researching the man (or woman) behind the name of A. M. Ide.
As I read through the poems, they seemed to resemble Poe’s flourishing language…a watered down version of his language, with great redundancy, mind you. The rhythm seemed off to me as well, so I thought surely these couldn’t be his poems!
It was a tricky investigation, as bits of certain poems honestly do resemble Poe’s style, if even a little. “The Village Street” reminded me of imagery found in “Ulalume.” “The Forest Reverie” had meter which seemed reminiscent of Poe’s style. “Annette” struck me as being just another poem written for some other love interest in Edgar’s life (or even a coverup name for Osgood, as the poem was written in 1845, around the time he would have had the tryst with Osgood). And it was through this poem that I found my answers.
Certain words and a particular line in the poem led me on to investigating in my “Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe” book by Thomas Ollive Mabbott. The descriptions of “violet eyes” and the specific line, “Of the golden-haired–the violet-eyed,” reminded me of Poe’s “Eulalie,” being the line, “Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride,” and the line, “While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.” Consulting the book, I found the explanation that Mabbott gave in regards to the origin of the poem and who it may have been written for. Interestingly enough, there is a theory that the name Eulalie was inspired by a poem called “Isadore,” by Albert Pike, which begins with descriptions of vines. Looking back at the poem “To Isadore,” which was supposedly ascribed to Poe, there is great imagery involving vines, which occur in the first few lines, as it also did in the first few lines of Pike’s poem.
Surely, thought I, surely “To Isadore” must be Poe’s poem! Not too long after this connection did I see a footnote in the back, leading me to a page with a brief explanation of these four specific poems. This is where my skepticism rang true. “Four poems signed ‘A. M. Ide’ were published in the Broadway Journal in 1845. John H. Ingram thought ‘A. M. Ide’ might be a pen name of Poe, and reprinted three of these four poems as possibly Poe’s in The Complete Poetical Works…of Edgar Allan Poe (1888)–but Abijah M. Ide was a young New Englander who corresponded with Poe…” and thus these are his poems (Mabbott 509).
And there we go. The mystery has been solved, and Poe truly did not write these poems. What irks me is the number of eBooks and Poe anthologies that came up in my search who are including these poems in their collections, falsely claiming the poems as Poe’s. Before assuming things like this, please, please do your research.