Edgar Allan Poe — “Enigma [Sarah Anna Lewis]”


Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “An Enigma [Sarah Anna Lewis]” — reading copy


Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “Sonnet” — before November 27, 1847, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version, which was sent to Mrs. Lewis on November 27, 1847, is presumably recorded in Text-04)
  • Text-02 — “Sonnet” — before November 27, 1847 (a speculated manuscript that must have been created and sent to the editors of the Union Magazine for publication. It is referenced in Poe's letter to Mrs. Lewis of November 27, 1847 as having been sent “a day or two ago” This manuscript has not survived, but is presumably recorded in Text-03.)
  • Text-03 — “Sonnet” — March 1848 — Union Magazine — (Mabbott text A) (the text was sent to the magazine about November 25-26, 1847)
  • Text-04 — “An Enigma” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text B)  (This is Mabbott's copy-text)



  • “Sonnet” — March 3, 1849 — Portland Transcript  (reprinted from Union Magazine)
  • “An Enigma” — 1852 — Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Humour; and Poems, London: Henry Vizetelly (An undated edition appears about the same time, published by Charles H. Clark and Samuel Orchart Beeton, and their name appears as publisher for the second series), first series pp. 257. (with no woodcut illustration) (this poem was omitted in some later printings)
  • An Enigma” — 1875 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol 3: Poems and Essays, ed. J. H. Ingram, Edinburgh, Adam and Charles Black (3:24)
  • “[Sonnet]” — November 16, 1879 — New York Times (New York, NY), vol. XXIX, no. 8793, p. 10, col. 2 (printed as part of a review of the E. L. Didier edition of Poe's Poems)
  • “An Enigma” — February 26, 1899 — Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), vol. XCII, whole no. 11,015, p. 26, middle of col. 4 (printed with the title “An Enigma by Edgar A. Poe.”)
  • “[[An Enigma]]” — June 3, 1911 — Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, IL), vol. LXX, no. 132, p. 11, col. 5 (printed as part of a review of the Whitty edition of Poe's poems)
  • “An Enigma” — August 11, 1912 — New York Times (New York, NY), vol. LXI, whole no. 19,923, p. 54, col. 1 (printed in reply to an inquiry from a reader)
  • “An Enigma” — January 20, 1918 — New York Tribune (New York, NY), vol. LXXVII, whole no. 25,998, p. 38, cols. 1-2 (printed along with an article about “The Birthday of Unhappy Edgar Allan Poe.”)


Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • An Enigma” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 10: Poems, ed. E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (10:83, and p. 192)
  • An Enigma” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 7: Poems, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (10:110, and 10:215)
  • Sonnet” — 1911 — The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. J. H. Whitty, Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Co. (p. 69, and p. 237)  (A note at the bottom of p. 69 states: “The title in all other edition of Poe's poems is, ‘An Enigma.”)
  • An Enigma” — 1917 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Killis Campbell, Boston: Ginn and Company (p. 121, and pp. 276-277)
  • “An Enigma” — 1965 — The Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Floyd Stovall, Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia (p. 107, and pp. 274-275)
  • An Enigma” — 1969 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Poems, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (1:424-426)
  • “An Enigma” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, ed. Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America) (pp. 91-92) (reprints the text from Works, 1850)


Comparative and Study Texts:

Instream Comparative and Study Texts:

  • None


Plain Text Files for Juxta:

  • None


Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

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



  • Bandy, W. T., “Poe's ‘An Enigma’ (or ‘sonnet’), IV,” Explicator, December 1961, vol. 20, item 35
  • 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.


[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Enigma [Sarah Anna Lewis]