Edgar Allan Poe — “The City in the Sea”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The City in the Sea” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “The Doomed City” — 1831, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text 02)
  • Text-02 — “The Doomed City” — 1831 — POEMS — (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “The City of Sin” — August 1836 — Southern Literary Messenger — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-04 — “The City in the Sea” — April 1845 — American Review — (Mabbott text C) [Cullen B. Colton states that the manuscript was among those “either lost or stolen.” No trace of a manuscript is known, but it was common practice for such material to be destroyed during or after typesetting. Poe himself saw no particular importance in his manuscript once that version was set in type. The future value of these manuscripts was, of course, not recognized at the time.]
  • Text-05 — “The City in the Sea” — August 30, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text D)
  • Text-06 — “The City in the Sea” — 1845 — RAOP — (Mabbott text E)
  • Text-07 — “The City in the Sea” — 1845-1849 — manuscript revisions in J. Lorimer Graham copy of RAOP — (Mabbott text F)
  • Text-08 — “The City in the Sea” — late 1849 — Poets and Poetry of America (10th edition, dated 1850) — (Mabbott text G)



  • “[The Doomed City]” — May 7, 1831 — New-York Mirror  (reprint of excerpts from Poems in a short review)
  • “The City of Sin” — September 17, 1836 — Catholic Advocate (Bardstown, KY), vol. I, no. 32, p. 1  (reprint from SLM)
  • The City in the Sea” — 1850 — WORKS — (Griswold reprints Text 06)  (Mabbott text H)  (This is Mabbott’s copytext for the final version)
  • The City in the Sea” — 1875 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol 3: Poems  and Essays, ed. J. H. Ingram, Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black (3:54-56)
  • “The City in the Sea” — 1883 — Surf and Wave, or, the Sea as Sung, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell and Co. (this poem is one of two by Poe included in this collection, the other being “Annabel Lee”)
  • “The City in the Sea” — January 13, 1905 — Tri City Star (Davenport, IO), p. 4, spread across cols. 1-2
  • “The City in the Sea” — June 23, 1905 — The Comet (Courtland, KS), vol. III, whole no. 122, p. 3, spread across cols. 6-7
  • “The City in the Sea” — March 19, 1909 — San Jose Mercury (p. 2) (this item is noted by George Monteiro, “Fugitive Reprints,” E. A. Poe Review, Fall 2010, p. 161.)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • The City in the Sea” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, eds. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (10:22-23, and pp. 174-176)  (The full text of “The Doomed City” is given in the notes)
  • The City in the Sea” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (10:49-50, and 10:175-178)
  • The City in the Sea” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (pp. 29-30, and pp. 218-220)
  • The City in the Sea” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 59-62, and pp. 207-210)
  • “The City in the Sea” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (pp. 50-51, and pp. 215-218)
  • The City in the Sea” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:196-204)  (Mabbott give two texts, one for “The Doomed City” and one for “The City in the Sea”)
  • “The City in the Sea” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (pp. 67-68) (reprints Text-06)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • None


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “La Cité dans la mer” — dated 2009, but available in late 2008 — Poèmes d‘Edgar Allan Poe, Paris: Publibook (translation by Jean Hautepierre)



  • Amacher, Richard E., “Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea’,” Explicator, May 1961, vol. 19, item 60
  • Baker, Christopher, “Spenser and ‘The City in the Sea’,” Poe Newsletter, December 1972, 5:55
  • Baker, Harry T., “Coleridge’s Influence on Poe’s Poetry,” Modern Language Notes, March 1910, 25:94-99
  • Basler, Roy P., “Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea’,” Explicator (February 1946, vol. 4, item 30; reprinted in Sex, Symbolism and Psychology, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1948, pp. 192-195
  • Belden, Henry M., “Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea‘ and Dante’s ‘City of Dis’,” American Literature, November 1935, 7:332-334
  • C., J. R., “ ‘The City in the Sea’,” Explicator, April 1945, vol. 3.
  • Claudel, Alice Moser, “Mystic Symbols in Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea’,” in Papers on Poe: Essays in Honor of John Ward Ostrom, ed. Richard P. Veler,  Springfield, OH: Chantry Music Press at Wittenberg University, 1972
  • Clough, Wilson O., “Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea‘ Revisited,” in Essays on American Literature in Honor of Jay B. Hubbell, ed. Clarence Gohdes, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1967, pp. 77-89.
  • Colton, Cullen B., “George Hooker Colton and the Publication of ‘The Raven’,” American Literature, vol. X, no. 3, November 1938, pp. 319-330 (footnote 30 on p. 328 provides the comment about the manuscript)
  • Driskell, Daniel, “Lucretius and ‘The City in the Sea’,” Poe Newsletter, December 1972, 5:54-55
  • Garrison, Joseph M., Jr., “Poe’s ‘City in the Sea’,” Poe Studies, 1989, 22:43-44
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • J., H., “Edgar Allan Poe: An Unnoticed Plagiarism,” Academy, June 25, 1910, 78:612-613
  • Keefer, T. Frederick, “ ‘The City in the Sea’: A Reexamination,” College English, March 1964, 25:436-439
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, “Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea’,” Explicator, October 1945, vol. 4, item 1.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.
  • Pittman, Diana, “Key to the Mystery of Edgar Allan Poe: ‘The Doomed City’, ‘The City of Sin,‘ and ‘The City in the Sea’,” Southern Literary Messenger, December 1941, 3:549-592 (this is the renewed form of the SLM)
  • Pound, Louise, “On Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea’,” American Literature, March 1934, 6:22-27
  • Pound, Louise, “Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea‘ Again,” American Literature, March 1936, 8:70-71
  • Rose, Marilyn, “Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea’: A Conjecture,” Emerson Society Quarterly, 1st Quarter 1968, 50:58-59
  • Stockton, Eric W., “Celestial Inferno: Poe’s ‘The City in the Sea’,” Tennessee Studies in English, 1963, 8:99-106
  • Thorpe, Dwayne, “Poe’s ‘City in the Sea’: Sources and Interpretation,” American Literature, 1979, 51:394-399


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - The City in the Sea