Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Valentine!

Edgar Allan Poe ~ A Valentine!

For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines! ~ they hold a treasure
Divine ~  a talisman ~  an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure ~ 
The words ~ the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labour
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets ~  as the name is a poet's, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
Like the knight Pinto ~ Mendez Ferdinando ~ 
Still form a synonym for Truth ~  Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.


First published in the "New York Evening Mirror's" February 21st, 1846 issue,  "A Valentine"  was written specifically for Frances Sargent Osgood,  whose name is hidden within the lines of the poem.  In its first publication,  it had the title  "To Her Whose Name Is Written Below."   To find the name,  take the first letter of the first line,  then the second letter of the second line,  then the third letter of the third line, and so on.  Before its publication,  it was presented at a private literary salon at the home of Anne Lynch Botta on February 14th, 1846.  Though Poe was not in attendance, it was a very public revelation of his affection for Osgood.

And, if you look closely at the photograph above ~ clicking on the image will make it much larger ~  you will be able both to read the poem & discover the hidden name!

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