Text: Anonymous, “Mr. Poe's Lecture,” Philadelphia Saturday Museum (Philadelphia, PA), November 25, 1843



Quite a large, and certainly highly intelligent audience attended the Lecture on American Poetry, delivered by Edgar A. Poe, Esq., on Tuesday evening, before the William Wirt Literary Institute. We have not leisure this week to give even a brief outline of the lecture, the character of which may be inferred from the reputation which Mr. Poe has so extensively enjoyed, as a severe and impartial critic. Added to this important qualification, the fact of the Lecturer himself possessing talents, as a poet, of a high order, and therefore capable of more truly appreciating his subject, with great analytical power, and that command of language and strength of voice which enables a speaker to give full expression to whatever he may desire to say, it will readily be perceived that the Lecturer on Tuesday evening, combined qualities which are rarely associated in a public speaker. — With the exception of some occasional severity, which however merited, may have appeared somewhat too personal, the lecture gave general satisfaction, especially the portions in which the eloquent Sonnets of Judge Conrad, on “The Lord's Prayer,” were introduced. The judicious reading of these created a marked sensation.

We hear it suggested that an attempt will be made to prevail on Mr. Poe to re-deliver this Lecture in a more central place in the city. With some modification, it would bear repetition, and we dare say the press will unite in forwarding these views, notwithstanding the cool manner in which Mr. P. laid bare its system of almost universal and indiscrim[[in]]ate eulogy, bestowed alike upon anything and everything — “from the most elaborate quarto of Noah Webster, down to a penny edition of Tom Thumb.”



This text is reprinted in Thomas, Poe in Philadelphia, pp. 644-645. “Sonnets on the Lord's Prayer” by Judge Robert T. Conrad appears in Graham's Magazine, June 1843, 22:322-323.


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