Poe's Poetry

Two Poets, One Poetic Vision: The Edgar Allan Poe/Thomas Hardy Alliance

Any literary critic or scholar who sets out to verify the relationship between the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe and the English novelist/poet Thomas Hardy cannot realistically begin without considering the questions posed by Cyril Clemens in the autumn of 1925 during an interview with Hardy at his home at Max Gate--"Do you like Poe, Mr. Hardy?" "Yes," he replied, "I have always been fond of the American. I like especially "The House of Usher," that cryptogram "The Gold Bug" and "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (26). Clemens, the nephew of American novelist/humorist Samuel Langhorne Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain), continued his questioning with "Did Poe influence your work?," whereby Hardy answered "Yes, without hesitation I say that Poe has influenced my work" (27). Thus, with these assertions by Hardy firmly established, we can proceed to explore Poe's influence in the poetry of Thomas Hardy, for both poets shared a common desire for "the rhythmical creation of Beauty" as defined by Poe in his "Poetic Principle" of 1848. D.H. Fussell, in his article "Do You Like Poe, Mr. Hardy?" concurs with this by admitting that Poe and Hardy...

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