Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 1: No 2) >> ''Poe's Poetry'': A New Simms Essay >> Page 24

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Page 24

Reviews/Essays | [1845-10-11]
Transcription 24
vinos infliction. But, it is denied that Mr. Poe failed at
all. He has been summoned to recite poetry. It is assert-
ed that he did so. The `Boston Courier,' one of the most
thoughtful of the journals of that city, gives us a very fa
vorable opinion of the performance which has been so
harshly treated. "The Poem," says that journal, called
"The Messenger Star;""was an elegant and classic pro
duction, based on the right principles, containing the es-
sence of true poetry, mingled with a gorgeous imagina-
nation, exquisite painting, every charm of metre and a
graceful delivery. It strongly reminded us of Mr.
Horne's "Orion," and resembled it in the majesty of its
design, the nobleness of its incidents, and its freedom
from the trammels of productions usual on these occa-
sions'. - The delicious word-painting of some of its
scenes brought vividly to our recollection, Keats's
"Eve of St. Agnes," and parts of "Paradise Lost."
That it was not appreciated by the audience was
very evident; by their uneasiness and continual exits
in numbers at a time. Common courtesy, we should
think, would have suggested to them the politeness
hearing it through, though it should have proved 'Hea-
then Greek," to them; after, too, the author had expressed
his doubts of his ability, in preparing a poem for a Bos-
ton audience.
That it was malapropos to the occasion; we take the
liberty to deny. What is the use of repeating the "mum-
bling farce" of having invited a poet to deliver a poem?
We (too often) find a person get up and repeat a hun-
dred or two different couplets of words, with jingling
rhymes and stale witticisms, with scarcely a line of
poetry in the whole, and which will admit of no superla-
live to describe it. If we are to have a poem, why not
have the "true thing," that will be recognized as such,
-for poems being written for people that can appreciate
them, it would be as well, to cater for their tastes as for
individuals who cannot distignuish between the true and
false."