Text: Thomas Dunn English (ed. James H. Whitty), “The Mammoth Squash,” The Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1911, pp. 159-160


[page 159:]



[W. M. Griswold's Correspondence of R. W. Griswold.]

GREEN and specked with spots of golden,

Never since the ages olden —

Since the time of Cain and Abel,

Never such a vegetable,

So with odors sweetest laden

Thus our halls appearance made in.

Who — oh! who in kindness sent thee

To afford my soul nepenthe?

Rude men seeing thee, say “Gosh!

’T is a most enormous squash!”

But the one who peers within,

Knowledge of himself to win,

Says, while total silence reigns,

Silence, from the Stygian shore —

(Grim silence, darkling o’er)

“This may perchance be but the skull

Of Arthur Cleveland Coxe so dull —

Its streaked, yellow flesh — his brains.”


The above is prefaced by the following: “In October, 1845, the literary world was amused by a clever article in T. Dunn English's Magazine, The Aristidean, a part of which I reprint as it indicates, more or less accurately, the prevailing opinion of the authors mentioned.

“‘Anxious to present our readers with the best specimens of the [page 160:] poetry of this country, we addressed notes to various of our poets, requesting them to furnish us, without charge, the means of fulfilling our desire. This, we conceived, to be a very modest request. To our surprise, some of these notes were returned, and others were retained, but no reply made. To some we received answers, with the required poems. We print, below, the whole of the latter. Our readers will enjoy these sublime effusions.’ ”

Then follow letters and poems from J. Pierpont, C. J. Peterson, Geo. P. Morris, and J. G. Whittier, with the following burlesque:

“NEW YORK CITY, Sept. 28, 1845.

“My DEAR SIR: For old acquaintance’ sake, I comply with your request; but your attempt will be a failure. Reasoning a priori, I could demonstrate that it cannot succeed. But I will not waste my logic on an obstinate man.

“Your obedient servant,








[S:0 - JHW11, 1911] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - The Mammoth Squash (ed. J. H. Whitty, 1911)