The Literary Maiden

A compendium of obscure 19th century writing.

Tag: edgar poe

Poems Attributed to Poe (that aren’t his.)

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.

Happy Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe

Today marks Edgar Allan Poe’s 205th Birthday. I am so proud and delighted that his legacy continues to live on. He has made such a mark on the world and my heart, and I am grateful each day to have discovered this incredible writer and poet.

Now, to share a couple of his poems that I’ve held dear for a while now—

Ulalume
“The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere –
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year:
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
In the misty mid region of Weir –
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through and alley Titanic,
Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul –
Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
These were days when my heart was volcanic
As the scoriac rivers that roll –
As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
In the ultimate climes of the pole –
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,
But our thoughts they were palsied and sere –
Our memories were treacherous and sere, –
For we knew not the month was October,
And we marked not the night of the year
(Ah, night of all nights in the year!) –
We noted not the dim lake of Auber
(Though once we had journeyed down here) –
Remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent
And star-dials pointed to morn –
As the star-dials hinted of morn –
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
Arose with a duplicate horn –
Astarte’s bediamonded crescent
Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said: “She is warmer than Dian;
She rolls through an ether of sighs –
She revels in a region of sighs:
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
And has come past the stars of the Lion
To point us the path to the skies –
To the Lethean peace of the skies –
Come up, in despite of the Lion,
To shine on us with her bright eyes –
Come up through the lair of the Lion,
With love in her luminous eyes.”

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
Said: “Sadly this star I mistrust –
Her pallor I strangely mistrust:
Ah, hasten! -ah, let us not linger!
Ah, fly! -let us fly! -for we must.”
In terror she spoke, letting sink her
Wings until they trailed in the dust –
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Plumes till they trailed in the dust –
Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied: “This is nothing but dreaming:
Let us on by this tremulous light!
Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sybilic splendour is beaming
With Hope and in Beauty tonight! –
See! -it flickers up the sky through the night!
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
And be sure it will lead us aright –
We safely may trust to a gleaming,
That cannot but guide us aright,
Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night.”

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
And tempted her out of her gloom –
And conquered her scruples and gloom;
And we passed to the end of the vista,
But were stopped by the door of a tomb –
By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said: “What is written, sweet sister,
On the door of this legended tomb?”
She replied: “Ulalume -Ulalume –
‘Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!”

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
As the leaves that were crisped and sere –
As the leaves that were withering and sere;
And I cried: “It was surely October
On this very night of last year
That I journeyed -I journeyed down here! –
That I brought a dread burden down here –
On this night of all nights in the year,
Ah, what demon hath tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber –
This misty mid region of Weir –
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber,
This ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.”

 

Annabel Lee
A Dream Within A Dream
The Raven
To the River