Text: Edmund Clarence Stedman and George Edward Woodberry, “Preface to the Poems,” The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, New York: Stone and Kimball, vol. X, 1895, pp. v-vi


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[page v:]

PREFACE TO THE POEMS

THE text of the poems here adopted is that of the Lorimer Graham copy of the edition of 1845, revised by marginal corrections in Poe’s hand. Inasmuch as Poe revised his poems repeatedly and with great care, and seldom returned to an earlier reading, the claim of his latest revision to be accepted as the authorized text seems to the Editors irresistible. For poems not included in the edition of 1845, the latest text published in Poe’s lifetime, or, where an earlier text is wanting or was revised, the text of Griswold, has been adopted.

All variant readings have been given in the NOTES. The Editors have thought this desirable partly because there is no such illustration in literature of the elaboration of poetry through long-continued and minute verbal processes, and partly because so large a portion of the verse written by Poe perished in those processes. It is believed that the view of the printed sources, here given, is complete; and to what they afford are added the variants of some early MSS., consisting of a large part of [page vi:] “Tamerlane” and four early poems, in Poe’s hand, and of copies of two other early poems in a contemporary hand. The date of the MSS. is, approximately, 1829 or earlier, and they represent Poe’s work after the publication of “Tamerlane” in 1827. They were in the possession of L. A. Wilmer, Esq., who was Poe’s companion in Baltimore, and have descended in the Wilmer family as an heirloom. Two leaves, however, which had got separated from the rest, had come into the possession of William Evarts Benjamin, Esq. The Editors desire to thank the owners for the free use of these valuable papers.

THE EDITORS.

NEW YORK, May 5, 1895.

 


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Notes:

None.

 

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[S:1 - SW, 1895] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - General Preface (E. C. Stedman and G. E. Woodberry, 1895)