Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “[Dedication],” ­Poems (1831), p. 5


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­ [page 5, unnumbered:]

TO

THE U. S. CORPS OF CADETS

THIS VOLUME

IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.


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Notes:

The book is dedicated to the “U.S. Corp of Cadets” primarily because 131 of Poe’s former fellow cadets at West Point subscribed to the volume at $1.25 each. Additional money was apparently donated by one or more of the officers, bringing the total to $170. They no doubt expected a volume of humorous verse somewhat like “Lines on Joe Locke.” If so, they would certainly have been surprised, and probably greatly disappointed, at what the little book actually contained. Thomas W. Gibson wrote in 1867 that “The book was received [by the cadets] with a general expression of disgust. It was a puny volume, of about fifty pages, bound in boards and badly printed on coarse paper, and worse than all, it contained not one of the squibs and satires upon which his reputation at the Academy had been built up. . . . . For months afterward quotations from Poe formed the standing material for jests in the corps, and his reputation for genius went down to zero. I doubt if even the “Raven” of his after-years ever entirely effaced from the minds of his class the impression received from that volume” (T. W. Gibson, “Poe at West Point,” Harper’s Monthly, XXXV, November 1867,  p. 755).


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[S:1 - Poems 1831 (fac, 1936)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - Poems (1831) - Dedication