Friday, June 26, 2009

Poe Fridays: An Enigma

This week's Poe Fridays reading is the poem, An Enigma.
"Seldom we find," says Solomon Don Dunce,
"Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
Through all the flimsy things we see at 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 lie concealed within't.

This is a tribute poem that claims that sonnets are shallow and fluffy. Is he being sarcastic? I'm not sure. He certainly thought that his intellect was superior to that of many people he encountered so maybe he thought this dig would go unnoticed? Or is he being sincere that this woman's hidden name (Sarah Anna Lewis) is enough to redeem the cheesiest poem? I'm not quite sure but I think I'm a bad person for hoping he's being snarky.

Since next Poe Friday is during the holiday weekend (for my American readers), I thought we could choose a longer story and use two weeks to read it. I have chosen The Gold Bug which you can read here if you don't have a copy. We will discuss it on July 10!

Doing just fine without a tribute poem,

1 comment:

  1. How's this for a Poe feast?!?!