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Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

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 labor
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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Read poems about / on: truth, valentine, heart, lost

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  • Rookie - 928 Points Piyush Dey (10/29/2014 1:23:00 PM)

    To translate the address, read the first letter of the first line in connection with the second letter of the second line, the third letter of the third line and so on to the end. The name will thus appear.
    It will say- Frances Sargent Osgood.
    Nice poem, smart and beautiful. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 341 Points Chris Howie (10/11/2014 9:06:00 PM)

    The riddle of the poem is quite simple, but well done, nonetheless. Certainly more than I could do, and it shows a side of Poe often not looked upon, and that is his romantic side. Not a truly fantastic poem, but enjoyable nonetheless. (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 6,718 Points * Sunprincess * (11/13/2013 11:06:00 PM)

    wow he was a genius...very clever to hide his beloved's name
    in the poem...pretty sure she was delighted :) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Ethan Hitch (5/28/2013 11:38:00 AM)

    Yes, this poem has the name of who this valentine was written for. The first letter in the first line, the second letter in the second line, the third in the third line and so on and so forth.... that will reveal who the valentine is to. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jordyn Williamson (11/28/2011 10:59:00 AM)

    I just love Poe's poems! They are breath-taking, intense, sad, cruel, lonely, dark, and horror. He's the perfect example for a gothic poet, and there will be no other. All his poems have different meanings, but if you look pass the words, you can see his past was like, and what he hoped and dreamed his future would be like. Agony and pain made Poe who he is; one of the best poets to ever live! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Aaron Allander (3/7/2007 6:02:00 PM)

    I understand Poe I lead a life almost like his terribly sad really but i still get the encoragement and love from him ♥ (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jabalimuni Putrevu (5/30/2005 9:23:00 PM)

    Poe praises the eyes the receiver of the valentine as 'brightly expressive as the twins of Lead (Castor and Pollus) .The receiver has to unearth the meaning hidden in the rhyme.
    jabalimuni (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Bill Mckenney (12/13/2004 10:53:00 PM)

    Celine,
    Look closer and You'll see this Valentine was written for
    Frances Sargent Osgood.
    (See comments for An Enigma) (Report) Reply

Read all 16 comments »

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