Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Marginalia [part XIII],” manuscript fragment, about March 1849



One of our truest poets is Thomas Buchanan Read. His most distinctive features are, first, “tenderness”, or subdued passion, and secondly, fancy. His sin is imitativeness. At present, although evincing high capacity, he is but a copyist of Longfellow — that is to say, but the echo of an echo. Here is a beautiful thought which is not the property of Mr. Read:

And, where the spring-time sun had longest shone

A violet looked up and found itself alone.

Here again: a Spirit

Slowly through the lake descended[[;]]

Till from her hidden form below

The waters took a golden glow,

As if the star which made her forehead bright

Had burst and filled the lake with light.

Lowell has some lines very similar, ending with

As if a star had burst within his brain.




For convenient reference, an item number has been added to each individual entry. The numbers are assigned across the full run of “Marginalia,” matching those used in the authoritative scholarly edition prepared and annotated by Burton Pollin (1985). The present installment, therefore, begins with item 210.



[S:1 - MS, 1849] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Misc - Marginalia [part XIII] [Text-01]