Poe's Poetry

An Acrostic (1829)

An unpublished 9-line poem written circa 1829 for Poe's cousin Elizabeth Rebecca Herring (the acrostic is her first name, spelled out by the first letter of each line). It was never published in Poe's lifetime. James H. Whitty discovered the poem and included it in his 1911 anthology of Poe's works under the title "From an Album." It was also published in Thomas Ollive Mabbott's definitive Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe in 1969 as "An Acrostic."

The poem mentions "Endymion," possibly referring to an 1818 poem by John Keats with that name. The "L. E. L." in the third line may be Letitia Elizabeth Landon, an English artist known for signing her work with those initials. "Zantippe" in line four is actually Xanthippe, wife of Socrates. The spelling of the name was changed to fit the acrostic.

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