Saturday, January 21, 2012

DIVING INTO : A Valentine _ _ _ Edgar Allan Poe (1846)

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. 

This poem bemuses me. My attempt to decode what is within the lines from the first and second reading has failed; yet this is encouraging for me.
"whose luminous eyes, brightly expressive as the twins of Leda. " 
This is reminiscent of Legiea's eyes :
"Those eyes ! Those large , those shining , those divine orbs ! They become to me twin stars of Leda, and I to them the devoutest of astrologers." 
It is understandable for Poe to always refer to his favorite name "Legiea " as she is the goddess of Harmony. Many hints are revealed by the poet. "The measure, the words_ the syllables " restrict the search to the frame of the poem. It diverges us from the aesthetic part of the work. ; that is to say the rhythm., the imageries and the similes are not the focus of the reader. Unusually, Edgar Allan Poe addresses the riddle to the reader and urges him to decipher it.
A thought has come to me. The last letter of each line seems not to work. Nor does the first letter of each line too. Another possible way would be letter one from line one, second letter from second line..
The result is Frances Sargent Osgood 
As always, Poe's poems and generally works are soaked in mystery . However , there is more of an amusing challenge.
I am wondering whether " they " in the fifth line refers to the lines or the eyes, A second thought , it is the "lines" .
"They hold a treasure
Divine -a talisman-an amulet
That must be worn at heart ."


  1. I am literally thunderstruck by your amazing attempt to decipher the mysteries behind Poe's riddle. I really am curious about how the idea with the "first line,first letter; second line,second letter;..." came to you. :O
    I love your analysis, as always, accurate and well woven. <3

    1. Honeeeeeeeey !! I refer you to your own poem <3 You'll remind yourself of your own genius =D