Text: Anonymous, “Mr. Poe's Poem,” Boston Courier (Boston MA), 18 October 1845, p. 2


ON THURSDAY EVENING, Mr. Poe delivered his poem before the Boston Lyceum, to (what we should have conceived, from first appearances) a highly intelligent and respectable audience. He prefaced it with twenty minutes of introductory prose; showing that there existed no such thing as didactic poetry, and that all real poetry must proceed and emanate directly from truth, dictated by a pure taste. The poem, called the “Messenger Star,” was an elegant and classic production, based on the right principles, containing the essence of true poetry, mingled with a gorgeous imagination, exquisite painting, every charm of metre, and a graceful delivery. It strongly reminded us of Mr. Home's “Orion,” and resembled it in the majesty of its design, the nobleness of its incidents, and its freedom from the trammels of productions usual on these occasions. The delicious word-painting of some of its scenes brought vividly to our recollection, Keats's “Eve of St. Agnes,” and parts of “Paradise Lost.”

That it was not appreciated by the audience, was very evident, by their uneasiness and continual exits in numbers at a time. Common courtesy, we should think, would have suggested to them the politeness of hearing it through, though it should have proved “Heathen Greek” to them; after, too, the author had expressed his doubts of his ability, in preparing a poem for a Boston audience.

That it was inappropriate to the occasion, we take the liberty to deny. What is the use of repeating the “mumbling farce” of having invited a poet to deliver a poem? We (too often) find a person get up and repeat a hundred or two indifferent couplets of words, with jingling rhymes and stale witticisms, with scarcely a line of poetry in the whole, and which will admit of no superlative to describe it. If we are to have a poem, why not have the “true thing,” that will be recognized as such, — for poems being written for people that can appreciate them, it would be as well to cater for their tastes as for individuals who cannot distinguish between the true and false.

We hope Mr. Poe will publish his poem, and give an opportunity for those that were not present, to read and admire.







[S:0 - BC, 1845] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Mr. Poe's Poem (Anonymous, 1845)