Written in 1847 for Marie Louise Shew, voluntary nurse of Poe's wife Virginia, it was not published until March 1848 in Columbian Magazine as "To —— ——." Poe never pursued a romantic relationship with Shew, and the poem has no strong romantic overtones. It discusses the writer's inability to write, distracted by the thought of "thee." The poem also references an earlier poem of Poe, "Israfel."
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