“A Valentine” by Edgar Allan Poe was first presented publicly in 1846 at a literary salon. The name of Poe’s valentine was hidden in the poem. It is believed Poe met her in person while she was separated from her husband and Poe’s wife was becoming increasingly ill. Some described their relationship as a only a friendship, while others surmised more, but the couple never admitted to anything, nor did they ever wed (I’ll share Poe’s secret valentine with you at the end, if you don’t already know).
Eager to wed your Valentine?
Consider making it memorable at Raven Cafe! The Poe-themed venue provides a unique literary salon with all the amenities available for celebrating “I do.”
Pastor Pat of Pastor Pat Ministries is offering a free simple wedding ceremony for up to 25 traditional or same-sex couples from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, at Raven Cafe! Couples must submit a valid Michigan marriage license and provide two adult witnesses for their ceremony. No fee is required or expected, but we’re certain Pastor Pat would appreciate a token honorarium! Visit the pastor’s website at www.pastorpat.net today!
Now, try to uncover the truth in the infamous poem, originally titled, “To Her Whose Name Is Written Below.”
For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Lœda,
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.
The name of Poe’s valentine is revealed by taking the first letter of the first line, followed by the second letter of the second line, and on and on to the end of the poem. The resulting acrostic spells the name of American female poet, Frances Sargent Osgood.
Please be my literary valentine.
SK Mabry, Library Media Specialist, Raven Cafe