Text: Nathaniel Parker Willis, “Edgar A. Poe, Again,” Home Journal (New York, NY), series for 1866, no. 22 (whole no. 1060), May 30, 1866, p. 2


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WE cut the subjoined appreciative article, from the Mobile Tribune, one of the ablest of our southern contemporaries, in which paper, we find it accredited to the Galveston News. Most of our readers will remember the papers on Poe, alluded to by our southern admirer. We quote:

“An able writer in the Home Journal demonstrates at length, what many have felt and believed, without being able to prove, namely, that Edgar Allan Poe holds the first rank as an American poet. This claim is maintained on three grounds; first, an imagination of the very highest order, which is the gift only of the rarest genius; secondly, artistic skill in all the accessories of poetry, rhythm, rhyme and simile; thirdly, poetic impulse — a disposition to sing, because it was in him to sing, and sing he must.’ It is also maintained that ‘he was the pioneer of a new school of poetry;’ and that, ‘as a prose writer he was unparalleled in his field — that of tale writing and criticism in America.’

“The writer of the article proposes to publish a volume of Poe's masterpieces, in verse and prose. We are glad to hear it. Such a work is due not only to Poe's memory, but to Southern literature. We have always held that Poe was the founder of a school which would become manifest in due time, and we are glad to note the spreading and deepening appreciation of his works. He brings together the qualities which constitute the highest genius-masterly powers of analysis, with grand imagination and the most delicate fancy. He, therefore, and his works, are a study; and the latter should pass into our literature in every possible form. It may be as well to begin with a volume of his masterpieces, accompanied by criticism, and we shall be glad to see such a book gotten up in a manner worthy of its theme.”

Just to enlighten our New-York friends, we may remark, en passant, that we have some scores of complimentary notices — not only of our criticism of Poe, but also of other leading literary men, as Bulwer, Swinburn, Carlyle, et al — lying, perdu, in our editorial drawer. These notices are from both English and American journals of repute, and vary from mere abstracts of our critiques to quotation in full; and were we, as is the habit of some of our contemporaries, to insert, in the Home Journal, one-half of the complimentary letters and notices received, from week to week, we should have left no space for anything else.

Meantime, we take occasion to correct an error, in the above mention. The author of the articles did not propose himself to publish a volume, but rather sought to induce Mr. Poe's publisher (Widdleton, No. 17 Mercer-street) to edit and publish the volume proposed. We may say, furthermore, that Mr. Widdleton, himself a passionate admirer of his deceased friend, Mr. Poe, will issue a volume of the masterpieces at an early date. The book will, without question, prove one of the most remunerative literary enterprises ever undertaken by a New-York publisher.

We may state, by way of conclusion, that a third paper on Poe's “Ligeia” will appear in our columns, in a few weeks, in which paper a far more minute analysis of Mr. Poe's imaginative qualities, as evinced in his prose writings, will be entered into and discussed at length.





[S:0 - HJ, 1866] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - A Poe Bookshelf - Edgar A. Poe, Again (N. P. Willis, 1866)