Text: Edgar Allan Poe to Sarah Anna Lewis — about late 1848 (LTR-297)


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Dear Mrs Lewis —

Upon the whole I think this the most spirited poem you have written. If I were you, I would retain all the prose pretax.

You will observe that I have taken the liberty of making some suggestions in the body of the poem — the force of which, I think, would be much increased by the introduction of an occasional short line, for example: —

Hurtled by the blast.

Sadly fell his eye.

Heard her shrieks of wo.

As now they flock to Rome.

And to Palestine.

Woke him from his dream.

And God will guide thy bark.

And the sun will shine.

Is a throne to me.

Pours a Paradise.

Sheds its holy light.

Will I cling to thee.

These short lines should be “indented” — as for instance: —

So, to cheer thy desolation,

Will I cling to thee.”


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Notes:

This letter appears in J. H. Whitty’s Complete Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, 1911, p. 210. Accompanying this letter is a page from Mrs. Lewis’ “The Prisoner of Perote,” with Poe’s suggestions. Whitty does not provide a date for this item.


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[S:0 - MS, 18xx] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Letters - Poe to S. A. Lewis (LTR297/RCL761)