Edgar Allan Poe — “A Paean” and “Lenore”


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Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “Lenore” — reading copy

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Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings (full text):

  • Text-01 — “A Pæan” — 1831, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02)
  • Text-02 — “A Pæan” — 1831 — POEMS — (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “A Pæan” — before January 1836 — (speculated new manuscript prepared for publication in the Southern Literary Messenger. This manuscript has apparently not survived, but the text has presumably been preserved in Text-04. Poe had apparently not kept a copy of the 1831 POEMS. He at least did not have one by July 2, 1844, when he wrote to J. R. Lowell asserting that he had “been so negligent as not to preserve copies of any of my volumes of poems — nor was either worthy preservation.” Poe may still have had a copy of POEMS in 1836, or he had a manuscript on which to base his new draft for the poem.)
  • Text-04 — “A Pæan” — January 1836 — Southern Literary Messenger — (Mabbott text B)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text for “A Paean,” which he prints as a separate poem)
  • Text-05 — “Lenore” — before December 25, 1842 — (speculated manuscript for the new poem, in Pindaric form, prepared for publication in the Pioneer. Poe’s letter of December 25, 1842 to J. R. Lowell appears to refer to this manuscript. This manuscript has apparently not survived, but based on Poe’s subsequent letter, it was supplanted by Text-06.)
  • Text-06 — “Lenore” — before December 27, 1842 — (speculated manuscript for a revised form of the new poem, in Pindaric form, prepared for publication in the Pioneer. Poe’s letter of December 27, 1842 to J. R. Lowell clearly refers to this manuscript, citing two lines, and seems to confirm that the earlier letter included another version of the same poem. This manuscript has apparently not survived, but the text has presumably been preserved in Text-07.)
  • Text-07 — “Lenore” — February 1843 — Pioneer (Printed in Boston and also Philadelphia) — (Mabbott text A1)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text for the Pindaric version)
  • Text-08 — “Lenore” — February 25 and March 4, 1843 — Saturday Museum — (Poe sent two copies of this article to J. R. Lowell, one on October 19, 1843 and a second on May 28, 1844. In both cases, he appears to have done so for the purpose of providing Lowell with some biographical material to use for his article on Poe for Graham’s Magazine. There is no indication that any of the poems in these copies had modifications made by Poe. Lowell eventually includes the long-line version of “Lenore,” probably from Text-10)
    • Text-08a — “Lenore” — February 25, 1843 (differences in this text from Text-07 are so slight that they were probably made in proof, and no intermediary manuscript is presumed)
    • Text-08b — “Lenore” — March 4, 1843  (reprinted from February 25, 1843) — (Mabbott text B1)
  • Text-09 — “Lenore” — before October 1844 — (speculated manuscript for the new version of the poem, in long-line form, prepared for a new publication, as yet unidentified. This manuscript has apparently not survived, but the text has presumably been preserved in Text-10.) [Note: In 2003, Meredith McGill (p. 145) suggested the possibility of a hoax by Poe for the sake of having the poem reprinted in the Mirror.]
  • Text-10 — “Lenore” — about October 1844 — uncertain periodical, possibly the New York Sunday Times (Text reprinted in the Jackson Advocate and the Evening Mirror in 1844, see reprints, below) — (Mabbott text C1) [See note to entry for Text-09. If the possibiity of a hoax could be proven to be correct, then the printing in the Mirror would fill this entry, and the supposed reprint in the Jackson Advocate would be dropped.]
  • Text-11 — “Lenore” — Before October 28, 1844 — (Poe’s revision of the manuscript for J. R. Lowell’s article on Poe. In a letter of October 28, 1844 to J. R. Lowell, Poe aplogizes for “taking with it only one liberty in the way of modification. This I hope you will pardon. It was merely the substitution of another brief poem for the last you have done me the honor to quote.” While the poem is not named, “Lenore” is the last poem quoted in Lowell’s article, and it seems to be a poem that Poe was revising and interested in publicizing just at this time. This manuscript has apparently not survived, but it is presumably preserved in Text-12.)
  • Text-12 — “Lenore” — February 1845 — Graham’s (printed as part of J. R. Lowell’s article on Poe) — (Mabbott text D1) (Because the poem was provided by Poe himself, and its publication was done under Poe’s approval, and because the manuscript change itself has not survived, this printing is considered authorized, and not merely a reprint.)
  • Text-13 — “Lenore” — August 16, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text E1) (There are no markings or changes made to this poem in the copy of the Broadway Journal that Poe gave to Mrs. S. H. Whitman in 1848. In the margin next to the tale “Morella,” however, as printed in this journal, Poe wrote the interesting note: “Robert Stannard [[sic]] Helen Stannard [[sic]]] Helen Whitman — Helen Ellen Elenore Lenore!”)
  • Text-14 — “Lenore” — 1845 — RAOP — (Mabbott text F1) (For Griswold’s printing of this text, see WORKS, under reprints, below)
  • Text-15 — “Lenore” — late 1849 — Poets and Poetry of America (10th edition, dated 1850) — (Mabbott text G1) (Althought this edition was printed late in 1849, the text was obviously set earlier. Two poems included in the edition, “The Raven” and “The Sleeper,” were clearly set in type by April 19, 1845, when Poe returned proof pages to Griswold. About May 1849, Poe sent manuscripts for “For Annie” and “Annabel Lee” to Griswold, and also requested a change to the final stanza of “Lenore,” similar to the change he made in RAOP-JLG. Griswold did not use these changes, essentially retaining the text from RAOP, adapted for the narrow columns of his book, presumably already set in type before Poe’s note was received. Poe never saw a final copy of the book. Poe probably never even saw proof pages of his poems since he sent his revised stanza in long-line form, following the format of RAOP, while the poem was printed by Griswold in short-lines to conform to the columnar format of PPA.)
  • Text-16 — “Lenore” — about August 1849 — manuscript revisions in J. Lorimer Graham copy of RAOP — (Mabbott text J1)
  • Text-17 — “Lenore” — about May 1849 — Poe’s version as proposed for The Poets and Poetry of America (if Griswold had adopted the change Poe requested by letter, and retained the long-line form.) (Mabbott text H1).
  • Text-18 — “Lenore” — September 18, 1849 — Richmond Whig and Public Advertiser — (Mabbott text K1)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text for the Long-lines version) (This text differs from Text-16, with changes that more closely agree with Poe’s May 1849 letter to Griswold, with a new version of the final stanza. There are a few additional verbal differences even from that late version.)
  • Text-19 — “Lenore” — about September 1849 — Richmond Examiner proof sheet — (Whitty states that this text matches Text-17, but “with slight punctuation changes” which he does not record [Poems, 1911, p. 213]) (Mabbott does not mention this version in his introductory comments, bibliography, variants or notes for “Lenore,” suggesting that he considered it an error by Whitty. Whitty lists this item in his bibliography as October 1849, which he does for all of the entries he attributes to the Examiner proofsheets. It is highly possible that Whitty confused the Whig and Examiner texts, or that in following F. W. Thomas’s transcription of what he thought were only from the Examiner, he did not realize that Thomas had also copied from the Whig. The differences in punctuation may be minor errors in transcription. In the absence of the original proof sheets from the Examiner, since no actual printing of the poem appeared in that newspaper, the entry must be considered suspicous.

 

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings (excerpts):

  • Lenore” — May 24, 1845 — excerpt only, 2 lines, Broadway Journal
  • [Lenore]” — about March 1848 — lines 10-12 only, “Stedman” manuscript  (These lines are quoted in an article about H. B. Hirst, intended for “Marginalia”)
  • [Lenore]” — about June 1849 — lines 10-12 only, “Griswold” manuscript  (These lines are quoted in an article about H. B. Hirst)

 

Reprints:

  • “A Pæan” — January 12, 1836 — Richmond Enquirer (vol. XXXII, no. 76, p. 4, top of col. 1) (acknowledged as reprinted from the SLM)
  • [Lenore]” — before November 28, 1844 — Jackson Advocate (Jackson, TN) (no copy of this issue has been located, but it is cited in the printing in the Evening Mirror, with the description that it is very badly printed)
  • [Lenore]” — November 28, 1844 — Evening Mirror (New York) (Mabbott text Ca)
  • “Lenore” — January 21, 1845 — Evening Mirror (New York, NY), vol. I, no. 90, p. 1, col. 6 (Included as part of a reprint of J. R. Lowell’s article on Poe from Graham’s Magazine.)
  • “Lenore” — January 25, 1845 — Public Ledger (Philadelphia) (vol. XVIII, no. 103, p. 1, col. 4) (reprinted from Text-08, attributed to “By E. A. Poe,” but without mentioning the Broadway Journal.)
  • “Lenore” — September 1, 1845 — Chambersburg Times (Pennsylvania) (An unathorized reprint criticized by Poe in the Broadway Journal for September 13, 1845. An apparently unique file of the newspaper is in the collection of the Franklin County Historical Society, in Kittochtinny, PA)
  • “Dirge [Lenore]” — September 13, 1848 — Oquawka Spectator (Mabbott text Cb)
  • “Lenore” — September 29, 1849 — Raleigh Register (Raleigh, NC), vol. L, no. 78, p. 2, col. 5 (acknowleged as by “Edgar A. Poe.”)
  • “[Lenore]” — October 17, 1849 — Louisville Daily Journal (Louisville, KY)  (only a few stanzas)
  • “Lenore” — October 28, 1849 — Daily Constitutionalist (Augusta, GA), ns vol. LV, no. 257, p. 2, col. 1 (acknowleged as by “Edgar A. Poe.”) (This entry provided by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail to the Poe Society dated February 25, 2018.)
  • Lenore” — 1850 — WORKS — Griswold prints Text-14  (Mabbott text L1)
  • [Lenore]” — 1850 — lines 10-12 only in article about H. B. Hirst, WORKS
  • “Lenore” — February 15, 1850 — Star and Banner (Gettysburg, PA), vol. XX, no. 47, p. 1, col. 1 (the author is acknowledged as “Edgar A. Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — November 2, 1850 — Boston Daily Times (Boston, MA)
  • “Lenore” — 1856 — Cyclopedia of American Literature, New York: Charles Scribner
  • “A Pæan” — March 1862 — Philobiblion (New York, NY) (reprinted from the Poems of 1831, as part of an article on “Poe’s Early Poems” by H. R.) (vol. I, no. 4, pp. 88-89)
  • “A Pæan” — January 7, 1863 — Orleans Republican (Albion, NY) (reprinted from the Philobiblion)
  • “A Pæan” — June 4, 1864 — as part of “Literariana” in Roundtable (New York, NY), p. 393 (apparently reprinted from POEMS of 1831)
  • Lenore” — 1875 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol 3: Poems  and Essays, ed. J. H. Ingram, Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black (3:13-14)
  • “Lenore” — April 3, 1884 — Burlington Free Press (Burlington, VT), vol. XXXIX, no. 81, p. 4, col. 2 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 5, 1884 — Oakland Daily Evening Tribune (Oakland, CA), vol. XXI, no. 75, p. 2, col. 6 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 15, 1884 — Topeka Daily Captial (Topeka, KS), vol. VI, no. 99, p. 7, col. 1 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines, just as the version in the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 15, 1884 — Evening Republican (Columbus, IN), vol. VI, no. 124, p. 3, col. 3 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines, just as the version in the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 18, 1884 — Hazleton Sentinel (Hazleton, PA), ns. vol. V, no. 190, p. 3, col. 3 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines, just as the version in the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 24, 1884 — Evening Republican (Columbus, IN), vol. VII, no. 124, p. 3, col. 3 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 28, 1884 — Daily Saratogian (Saratoga Springs, NY), ns vol. 15, no. 189, p. 4, middle of col. 4 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines, just as the version in the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allan Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — May 1, 1884 — Helena Weekly Herald (Helena, Montana), vol. XVIII, no. 24, p. 1, col. 1 (a truncated version, omitting many of the internal lines, just as the version in the Oakland Daily Evening Tribune. The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 21, 1887 — The Landmark (Statesville, NC), vol. VIII, no. 37, p. 1, col. 3 (The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 27, 1887 — Daily Journal (New Berne, NC), vol. VI, no. 23, p. 3, col. 3 (The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — April 28, 1887 — New Berne Weekly Journal (New Berne, NC), vol. X, no. 4, p. 2, col. 6 (The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — May 4, 1887 — Daily Review (Wilmington, NC), vol. XI, no. 105, p. 3, col. 2 (The author is acknowledged as “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — March 10, 1901 — St. Louis Republic (St. Louis, Missouri), vol. 93 (no issue number specified), p. 5, col. 3 (acknowleged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe,” under the heading “Poem That Was Asked For,” and the brief introductory note to the “Editor of the Enquirer”: “I send ou the words of Edgar Allen [[Allan] Poe’s ‘Lenore’ for which Mrs. H. D. asked recently”)
  • “Lenore” — April 4, 1901 — Buffalo Enquirer (Buffalo, NY), vol. 57, no. 211, p. 5, col. 3 (acknowleged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe,” under the heading “Poem That Was Asked For,” and the brief introductory note to the “Editor of the Enquirer”: “I send ou the words of Edgar Allen [[Allan] Poe’s ‘Lenore’ for which Mrs. H. D. asked recently”)
  • “Lenore” — August 19, 1902 — The Progressive Farmer (Raleigh, NC), vol. 17, no. 28, p. 4, across the top of of cols. 1-2 (acknowleged as by “Edgar Allan Poe,” and with the footnote: “This is No. 66 of our series of the World’s Best Poems, arranged especially for The Progressive Farmer by the editor.”)
  • “Lenore” — March 14, 1905 — The Progressive Farmer and The Cotton Plant (Raleigh, NC), vol. XX, no. 5, p. 6, top of col. 1 (acknowleged as by “Edgar Allan Poe,” and with the footnote: “This is No. 21 of a series of Southern Poems selected especially for The Progressive Farmer and Cotton Plant by the editor.”)
  • “Lenore” — July 16, 1907 — Wichita Daily Beacon (Wichita, KS), vol. XLVIII, no. 73, p. 4, col. 6 (acknowleged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.”)
  • “[Lenore]” — August 20, 1907 — Nashville American (Nashville, TN), vol. XXXIII, whole no. 11281, p. 6, col. 4 (printed without title, but acknowleged as by “Edgar Allen [[Allan]] Poe.” The only heading given is “Poems of Merit.”)
  • “Lenore” — January 22, 1911 — Star-Independent (Harrisburg, PA), vol. 69, no. 42, p. 6, top of col. 5 (acknowleged as by “Edgar A. Poe.”)
  • “Lenore” — February 21, 1911 — Buffalo Enquirer (Buffalo, NY), vol. 67, no. 172, p. 4, col. 2 (acknowleged as by “Edgar Allan Poe.”)

 

Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints (as “A Pæan”):

  • A Pæan” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (pp. 209-211)
  • A Pæan” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 68-72, and pp. 214-217)
  • A Pæan” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:204-207)

 

Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints (as “Lenore”):

  • Lenore” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, ed. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (10:17-18, and pp. 166-170)  (The full text of “A Pæan” is given in the notes)
  • Lenore” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (10:53-54, and 10:182-187)
  • Lenore” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (pp. 21-22, and pp. 209-214)
  • Lenore” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (pp. 68-72, and pp. 214-217)
  • “Lenore” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (p. 56, and pp. 228-236)  (In his notes, Stovall gives the full texts of the 1843 “Lenore” and the 1831 “A Paean”)
  • Lenore” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:330-339)  (Mabbott gives two texts, one for the Pindaric version, and one for the Long-line version)
  • “Lenore” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (pp. 68-69) (reprints Text-09) (This edition omits “A Paean” as an earlier form of “Lenore.”)

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Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • A Pæan” — Comparative Text (POEMS and SLM)
  • Lenore” — Comparative Text (Pioneer and PSM)
  • Lenore” — Comparative Text (PSM and Evening Mirror)
  • Lenore” — Comparative Text (Evening Mirror and Graham’s)
  • Lenore” — Comparative Text (Graham’s and Broadway Journal)
  • Lenore” — Comparative Text (Broadway Journal and RAOP)
  • Lenore” — Comparative Text (RAOP and PPA)
  • Lenore” — Study Text (RAOP-JLG)
  • Lenore” — Comparative Text (RAOP-JLG and Whig)

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Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Lenore” — 1864 — Der Rabe, die Glocken, Lenore, Philadelphia  (German translation)
  • “[Lenore]” — as early as 1869, the first few lines of the poem were commonly used in obituaries. Examples include: Perry County Democrat (New Bloomfield, PA), vol. 32, no. 43, March 31, 1869, p. 3, col. 3; Feliciana Sentinel (St. Francisville, LA), vol. 3, no. 3, July 13, 1878, p. 1, col 5; New Orleans Daily Democrat (New Orleans, LA), vol. III, no. 274, September 22, 1878, p. 1, col. 6; Democratic Northwest (Napoleon, OH), vol. XXIX, no. 11, May 12, 1881, p. 8, col. 4; Harper Sentinel (Harper, KS), vol. VI, no. 48, November 26, 1887, p. 3, col. 3; Harper Sentinel (Harper, KS), vol. VII, no. 21, April 14, 1888, p. 2, col. 3; Morganton Herald (Morganton, NC), vol. V, no. 46, January 30, 1890, p. 3, col. 4; Sumter County Sun (Livingston, AL), vol. III, no. 18, July 23, 1891, p. 3, col. 3; Marion Standard (Marion, AL), vol. XIX, no. 6, December 6, 1897, p. 3, col. 3; Abilene Daily Chronicle (Abilene, KS), vol. V, no. 293, February 13, 1901, p. 4, col. 2; Hartford Republican (Hartford, KY), vol. XVII, no. 40, April 21, 1905, p. 1, col. 1. The use of these few lines from Poe’s poem in a loving tribute to a lost one is curious given the broader context of the poem and the scorn of false friends.)
  • “[Lenore]” — November 18, 1889 — the elaborate, dark gray French granite obelisk tomb-marker of Elizabeth Budd Graham (1866-1889) includes the first few lines of Poe’s poem as part of the inscription, without attribution and probably adapted from the use of the lines in obituaries. The impressive and expensive monument, surmounted by carved funerary plumes, stands in the Old City Cemetery of Tallahassee, FL. Somewhat in keeping with the tone of Poe’s poem, “Bessie,” who died at the age of 23 just a few days shy of her second anniversary as the beloved wife of John Alexander Graham, has entered local lore as the “Tallahassee Witch.” (This entry was provided to the Poe Society by Ton Fafianie in an e-mail dated April 1, 2018.)
  • “[Lenore]” — December 2, 1938 — the first two lines of the poem are used in a humorous context, as commenting on the unwelcome proliferation of football bowls — Daily TImes-News (Burlington, NC), vol. 54, no. 225, p. 2, col. 2.
  • “Lenore” — 1960 — a reading by Nelson Olmsted on The Raven: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, issued on the Vanguard label (VRS-9046, rereleased as VSD-32)
  • “Lenore” — dated 2009, but available in late 2008 — Poèmes d‘Edgar Allan Poe, Paris: Publibook (translation by Jean Hautepierre)

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Bibliography:

  • Broderick, John C., “Poe’s Revisions of ‘Lenore’,” American Literature, January 1964, 35:504-510
  • 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.
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vol 1 Poems), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1969.
  • Pollin, Burton R., “Poe and Frances Osgood, as Linked through ‘Lenore’,” Mississippi Quarterly, 1993, 46:185-197
  • McGill, Meredith, American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1834-1853, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003
  • Savoye, Jeffrey A., “The Curse of Lenore: Edgar Allan Poe and the Chambersburg Times,” Edgar Allan Poe Review, Spring 2011, vol. 12, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 32-41.(This article locates a unique file of the Chambersburg Times for 1845 and provides further details on its interest in Poe and on Poe’s humorous comments about this newspaper’s unauthorized alteration of his text for “Lenore.”)

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Lenore