Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. J. A. Harrison), “Preface to the Poems,” The Complete Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. VII: Poems (1902), p. xlvii


[page xlvii:]


(EDITION OF 1845.)

THESE trifles are collected and republished chiefly with a view to their redemption from the many improvements to which they have been subjected while going “the rounds of the press.”(1) I am naturally anxious that it should circulate as I wrote it. In defence of my own taste, nevertheless, it is incumbent upon me to say, that I think nothing in this volume of much value to the public, or very creditable to myself. Events not to be controlled have prevented me from making, at any time, any serious effort in what, under happier circumstances, would have been the field of my choice. With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence; they must not — they cannot at will be excited with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.

E. A. P


[The following footnote appears at the bottom of page xlvii:]

1.  Poe first printed: “If what I have written is to circulate at all, I am naturally anxious that it should circulate as I wrote it,” and then changed it, in the J. Lorimer Graham copy, to the form above. — ED.





[S:0 - JAHCW, 1902] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe (J. A. Harrison) (Preface to the Poems)