The Complete poems of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe

Elizabeth (1829)

Believed to have been written in 1829, “Elizabeth” was never published in Poe’s lifetime. It was written for his Baltimore cousin, Elizabeth Rebecca Herring. Poe also wrote “An Acrostic” to her as well as the poem that would become “To F——s S. O——d.”

Elizabeth, it surely is most fit

[Logic and common usage so commanding]

In thy own book that first thy name be writ,

Zeno and other sages notwithstanding;

And I have other reasons for so doing

Besides my innate love of contradiction;

Each poet — if a poet — in pursuing

The muses thro’ their bowers of Truth or Fiction,

Has studied very little of his part,

Read nothing, written less — in short’s a fool

Endued with neither soul, nor sense, nor art,

Being ignorant of one important rule,

Employed in even the theses of the school —

Called — I forget the heathenish Greek name

[Called anything, its meaning is the same]

“Always write first things uppermost in the heart.”

Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53