Text: Freeman Hunt, [Review of The Raven and Other Poems], Hunt's Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review (New York, NY), vol. 14, no. 1, January 1846, p. 107


[page 107:]

6. — The Raven, and Other Poems. By EDGAR A. PEOE. Library of American Books, No. VIII. New York: Wiley & Putnam.

This second volume of Mr. Poe's productions that have appeared in Wiley & Putnam's American Library. The characteristics of his poetry are a quick, subtle, conception, and a severe taste of what is harmonious in expression. Exhibiting all the nervous, impatient marks of true genius, an unbridled playfulness of fancy, it is, while seemingly riding havoc in thought, meter and harmony, restrained throughout by a skilful rein, that guides sentiment and style by well defined rules, never allowing it to border upon the ridiculous, or ill judged sublimity. This union of the faculties of a critic and genius, making cultivation a second nature, and unconsciously governing the style, is a rare gift and power in a writer. The passion and sentiment are also original, while the style has a fragmentary character, like the architecture of the ruins of Chiapas, where frescoes, and rude, but beautiful workmanship, are scattered about in the wildest profusion. The Raven is rather a production of artistic cleverness than genius, while the poems that follow breathe such pure passion, and are embodied in such beautiful imagery, and the etherial [[ethereal]] speculations given with so much descriptive, thought-awakening power, that we regret Mr. Poe should do aught else than write poetry.



This review, as well as three others, was first resurrected by Burton R. Pollin in “Poe, Freeman Hunt, and Four Unrecorded Reviews of Poe's Works,” Texas Studies in Literature and Language, vol. XVI, no. 2, Summer 1974, pp. 305-313. In that article, he also identifies the likely author as Freeman Hunt. Hunt, the editor whose name was borne in the name of the magazine, appears to have been favorably disposed toward Poe. In his Literati entry on Hunt, Poe said of him that “He is a true friend, and the enemy of no man. ... His heart is full of the warmest sympathies and charities. No one in New York is more universally popular.”


[S:0 - HMM, 1846] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Review of The Raven and Other Poems (Freeman Hunt, 1846)