Knowing Poe: The Literature, Life and Times of Edgar Allan Poe... In Baltimore and Beyond

Maryland Public Television
2005 Webby Award Winner!
border border
Poe the Writer
Random Raven

Poe Condemned

"Oh, you mean the jingle-man."

— R. W. Emerson, in 1859, referring to Poe,
quoted by W. D. Howells in Literary Friends and Acquaintances.

"To me his [Poe's] prose is unreadable — like Jane Austen's. No, there is a difference. I could read his prose on salary, but not Jane's. Jane is entirely impossible. It seems a great pity that they allowed her to die a natural death."

— Mark Twain [Samuel L. Clemens], letter to W. D. Howells, January 18, 1909.
Reprinted in Henry Nash Smith and William M. Gibson, eds.,
Mark Twain-Howells Letters,
Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1960, II, p. 841.

"That Poe had a powerful intellect is undeniable: but it seems to me the intellect of a highly gifted person before puberty."

— T. S. Eliot, "From Poe to Valery,"
Library of Congress Lecture, November 19, 1948.