Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “To My Mother” (Text-03b), Leaflets of Memory (for 1850, but issued in Dec. 1849), p. 48


[page 48:]



BECAUSE the angels in the Heavens above,

Devoutly singing unto one another,

Can find, amid their burning terms of love,

None so devotional as that of “mother,”

Therefore by that sweet name I long have called you;

You who are more than mother unto me,

Filling my heart of hearts, where God installed you,

In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.

My mother — my own mother, who died early,

Was but the mother of myself; but you

Are mother to the dead I loved so dearly,

Are thus more precious than the one I knew,

By that infinity with which my wife

Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.



This poem is addressed, of course, to Poe’s mother-in-law and aunt, Maria Clemm. This same version of the poem was printed in Sartain’s Union Magazine, December 1849. Leaflets of Memory was edited by Reynell Coates, M. D., and published in Philadelphia by E. H. Butler & Co. The full title was Leaflets of Memory, or, Illuminated Annual for MDCCCL. As was the convention for gift books and annuals, it was available for purchase in the Fall of the year before that designated in the title, thus October 1849. Coates was a minor literary figure, and a friend of John Sartain, who provided most of the illustrations.


[S:1 - LOM, 1850] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - To My Mother (Text-03b)