“Lines on Joe Locke” was a short, two stanza poem written to make fun of a commanding officer during Poe’s time at West Point. Poe was known for his funny verses on staff and faculty at the academy. Lieutenant Locke was either generally not well-liked, or Poe had a more personal vendetta with him. The poem teases that Locke “was never known to lie” in bed while roll was being called, and he was “well known to report” (i.e. cite cadets for discipline purposes).
As for Locke, he is all in my eye,
May the d — l right soon for his soul call.
He never was known to lie --
In bed at reveille "roll call."
John Locke was a notable name;
Joe locke is a greater; in short,
The former was well known to fame,
But the latter's well known "to report."
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53