Sunday, June 29, 2014

Did Edgar Allan Poe have a Favorite Poem?

Nearly 200 years after Poe penned "The Raven" it is still one of America's most popular poems. Personally I like his "Ulalume" because it is about his personal life and (perhaps) a child he has with Frances Osgood, which I explain in Edgar Allan Poe's Entire Stories and Poems Annotated.

Which ever Poe poem you like the best, it is clear he knew a lot about great poetry. Not only how to write it, but how to read it in a way that drew out true emotion, the hallmark of all great poems. The question becomes, did Poe have any favorite poems that he enjoyed reading?

Fortunately, we know of at least one. It was published by an Englishman named Richard Horne. The title is "Orion" and here is what America's first poet had to say about it:

“It is our deliberate opinion that, in all that regards the loftiest and holiest attributes of the true Poetry, ‘Orion’ has never been excelled. Indeed we feel strongly inclined to say that it has never been equaled.”

While Charlotte Bronte said, “there are passages I shall recur to again and yet again - passages instinct both with power and beauty.” Written in 1843, Orion is the greatest epic poem you have never read and you get it for $0.99 on Google Books.


Kelly said...

Thank you for bringing this to the public's attention. I have enjoyed reading your blog posts, as you take facts of Poe that are less known (which I thank you for presenting them accurately) and expose them for further study. Thank you.

I also applaud you on your novel, "Coffee With Poe." I thoroughly enjoyed it and rave about it to everyone--quite literally. One of the best historical fiction Poe novels I have read.

Andrew Barger said...

Thanks, Kelly!

Poe was fascinating. I am glad you enjoyed "Coffee with Poe". Reviews are always hard to come by.