To Edgar Allan Poe

by mitchellgallery

Dialogues - poe

This woodcut of “A Edgar Poe” by Felix Vallotton, completed and printed in 1894, was favorably received by Vallotton’s contemporaries. In 1894, French author Jules Renard wrote to the artist to express his satisfaction with the print: “I do not know [Poe’s] face, but it is intellectually he, could only be he; you have an unsettling manner of being concise.”

Below is one of Poe’s poems:

An Enigma

“Seldom we find,” says Solomon Don Dunce,
“Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
Through all the flimsy things we see a once
As easily as through a Naples bonnet –
Trash of all trash! – how can a lady don it?
Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff –
Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff
Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it.”
And, veritably, Sol is right enough.
The general tuckermanities are arrant
Bubbles – ephemeral and so transparent –
But this is, now – you may depend upon it –
Stable, opaque, immortal – all by dint
Of the dear names that he concealed within ‘t.”

– Edgar Allan Poe


Holly Huey – St. John’s College student

Photo credit: Felix Vallotton, To Edgar Poe, 1894