Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — May 3, 1841 (LTR-110)


Dear Sir,

Mr Geo: R. Graham, proprietor of “Graham's Magazine”, a monthly journal publishes in this city, and edited by myself, desires me to beg of you the honor of your contribution to its pages. Upon the principle that we seldom obtain what we very anxiously covet, I confess that I have but little hope of inducing you to write for us; — and, to say truth, I fear that Mr Graham would have opened the negotiation much better in his own person — for I have no reason to think myself favorably known to you — but the attempt was to be made, and I make it.

I should be overjoyed if we could get from you an article each month — either poetry or prose — length and subject a discretion. In respect to terms we would gladly offer you carte blanche — and the periods of payment should also be made to suit yourself.

Should you be willing to write for the Magazine, it would be an important object with us to have something, as soon as convenient, for the July number, which commences a new volume, and with part of which we are already going to press. With this letter I forward to your address, by mail, the April and May numbers of the journal — that you may form some judgment of the character of the work. It is our design, however, greatly to improve its mechanical appearance; and, in the new volume, we shall have [page 2:] an array of contributors not altogether unworthy an association with yourself.

In conclusion — I cannot refrain from availing myself of this, the only opportunity I may ever have, to assure the author of the “Hymn to the Night”, of the “Beleaguered City” and of the “Skeleton in Armor”, of the fervent admiration with which his genius has inspired me: — and yet I would scarcely hazard a declaration whose import might be so easily misconstrued, and which bears with it, at best, more or less, of niaiserie, were I not convinced that Professor Longfellow, writing and thinking as he does, will be at no loss to feel and to appreciate the honest sincerity of what I say.

With highest respect.

Yr Ob. St
Edgar A. Poe.

Prof. H. W. Longfellow


May 3d / 41





[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to H. W. Longfellow (LTR110/RCL281)