Text: Edgar Allan Poe (ed. T. O. Mabbott), “Epigram for Wall Street,” The Collected Works of Edgar Allan PoeVol. I: Poems (1969), p. 378 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 378, continued:]


This bit of punning verse appears in the New York Evening Mirror of January 23, 1845, with the following comment: “This is decidedly one of the best jeux d’esprit we have met in a year. Who did it? — who?

In the Evening Mirror of January 14, there had appeared this paragraph:

The Southern Literary Messenger. — A broadly satirical article, oddly entitled “The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq., late Editor of the Goosethereumfoodle,” and which appeared originally in the “Southern Literary Messenger” for December, has been the subject of much comment, lately, in the Southern and Western papers, and the query is put to us especially, here in the North — “who wrote it?” Who did? — can any one tell?

Since Poe wrote “Thingum Bob,” and no other parallel articles are met in the Mirror, I assume that Poe wrote the “Epigram,” which resembles the “Lines on Joe Locke” and the “Impromptu to Kate Carol.” It follows an article on grasshoppers, obviously Poe’s. The scrap was not gathered into the weekly edition of the Mirror and was first noticed by the present editor.




  • This minor item must now be removed from the Poe canon. Enrico Brandoli has recently traced the original printing of the epigram to the Great Western Advertiser (Bristol, Bath, the South Western Counties, and South Wales, UK) for April 13, 1844. It was subsequently picked up and reprinted as a humorous filler item in a number of newspapers in the US. Brandoli still seems to assume that Poe was somehow involved in selecting and possibly renaming the item, although it is just as likely that Poe had no connection to it at all, and that it was adapted by other editors at the Mirror, such as Willis or Morris. (See Enrico Brandoli, “ ‘Epigram for Wall Street’: Who did it? Who?” Edgar Allan Poe Review, Fall 2011, vol. XII, no. 2, pp. 58-63.)


[S:1 - TOM1P, 1969] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions-The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (T. O. Mabbott) (Epigram for Wall Street)