Text: Anonymous, “[Review of Poems of E. A. Poe],” New-York American, for the Country (New York, NY), vol. XI, whole no. 1063, May 6, 1831, p. 1, column 1


[page 1, column 1, continued:]

POEMS — by Edgar A. Poe, 2d ed., N. Y., E. Bliss. — This purports to be a second edition, — expurgated, — of a volume of poems. Portions of the first edition are omitted, to the end that “those retained” — we borrow the language of the author — “being placed in a fairer light, and the trash shaken from them in which they were imbedded, they may have some chance of being seen by posterity.” This is a laudable expectation; but fated, — we apprehend, like so many other human hopes and wishes, — to certain disappointment. Posterity and these poems will scarcely make acquaintance — though the publisher’s art has not been wanting to give them a goodly outside, and the passport of a prepossessing appearance. We give a few lines, taken at the opening of the book: —

Sit down beside me Isabel,

Here, dearest, where the moonbeam fell

Just now, as fairy-like and well.

Now, thou art dressed for Paradise!

I am star-stricken with thy eyes!

My soul is lolling on thy sighs !

Thy hair is lined by the moon,

Like flowers by the low breath of June !

Our readers will, we are sure, excuse any more citations.




The Poe Society is indebted to Ton Fafianie for discovering and sending a copy of this early review of Poe’s Poems of 1831.

Ton suggests that the unnamed author of the review may be the editor, Charles King (1789-1867). He futher notes:

Compare this with Wordsworth’s famous preface to his own Poems (1815):

“And if, bearing in mind the many Poets distinguished by this prime quality, whose names I omit to mention; yet justified by recollection of the insults which the ignorant, the incapable, and the presumptuous, have heaped upon these and my other writings, I may be permitted to anticipate the judgment of posterity upon myself, I shall declare (censurable, I grant, if the notoriety of the fact above stated does not justify me) that I have given in these unfavourable times evidence of exertions of this faculty upon its worthiest objects, the external universe, the moral and religious sentiments of Man, his natural affections, and his acquired passions; which have the same ennobling tendency as the productions of men, in this kind, worthy to be holden in undying remembrance.”



[S:0 - NYAFTC (scan), 1831] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Review of Poems of 1831