Monday, January 19, 2015

A Valentine Riddle Poem by Edgar Allen Poe

The Raven is one of Edgar Allen Poe's most quoted poems. Due to its length I am posting a link to the poem.
But I did come across this poem by Poe just in time for Valentine's Day. I was intrigued because it is an acrostic poem with a cryptic message at the bottom of the poem.  
 A Valentine
by Edgar Allan Poe
(published 1850)

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.

Note: Poe wrote this poem for a specific person. The woman's name is hidden
within the text. Can you find it? Hint: its an acrostic

This is a lyrical poem, written in the form of acrostic. Other than a poem, “A Valentine” is actually a riddle that Poe made to reveal his secret lover's name. Edgar Allen Poe composed “A Valentine” to express his affection for a woman, but he’s too afraid to directly tell her because she’s already married. Poe’s challenge for the readers is to solve the riddle within this poem. 

Okay... I was stumped and needed help!!! But I was able to find this answer.  

The riddle is the dominant feature of this poem, that’s the main factor that makes this poem so ingenious. Not only does it express the romantic words of the writer, Edgar Allen Poe also composed a hidden riddle within “A Valentine”. If you take the first letter from the first line, the second letter from the second line, the third letter from the third line, and so on until the end, the riddle of this poem will be revealed. The name of the woman who Poe is crazed about exists in every line throughout the whole poem, Frances Sargent Osgood. She was another great poetess who shares her secret affair with Poe through poems.

Cook's notes: I couldn't pass up sending this easy recipe along. It takes only 5 minutes prep time. The adapted recipe comes from damndelicious site and serves 6.

  • 24 baby carrots, tops trimmed to 2 inches-sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 TB. olive oil or Blood Orange Olive Oil 
  • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar or Fig Balsamic  
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 TB. chopped parsley leaves
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment  paper. 
  • Place carrots in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. 
  • Mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic,oregano and thyme; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour over carrots and gently toss to combine.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, or until tender. Garnish with chopped parsley leaves.

Dr. King's life is a reminder to seek light in darkness, to be the change itself. In this world we need to be optimistic that the young people coming up through the ranks are equipped with both skills and moral courage to dare to do what is right. It is not an easy journey for any of us.

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