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Star lover
February 14th, 2018, 08:05 AM
Virginia Clemm Poe wrote an acrostic Valentine poem for her husband in 1846.

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"Ever with thee I wish to roam," said the first line.
"Dearest my life is thine," said the second.

And so on, with the first letter of each line spelling out her husband's name: E-D-G-A-R-A-L-L-A-N-P-O-E.
Befitting a Poe romance, the sentiment was heartfelt, yet ominous.
For the second L, she writes: "Love shall heal my weakened lungs."
But it didn't. She died from tuberculosis the following year.


Ever with thee I wish to roam —
Dearest my life is thine.
Give me a cottage for my home
And a rich old cypress vine,
Removed from the world with its sin and care
And the tattling of many tongues.
Love alone shall guide us when we are there —
Love shall heal my weakened lungs;
And Oh, the tranquil hours we'll spend,
Never wishing that others may see!
Perfect ease we'll enjoy, without thinking to lend
Ourselves to the world and its glee —
Ever peaceful and blissful we'll be.

(Virginia's handwritten manuscript resides at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.)

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Virginia Eliza Clemm was seven years old when she met her future husband, her cousin, Edgar Allan Poe. At the time, Edgar had been discharged from the army and came to live with the poor family. Little Virginia acted as a messenger between him and a young woman in the neighborhood he had become smitten with. Edgar developed a softness of heart for his devoted little cousin.

Edgar left the family to take a job in Baltimore. While there, poor Virginia’s siblings died and she was left alone with her destitute parents. Protective over his devoted little cousin, Edgar decided to marry her, but she was far too young. Neilson Poe, the husband of Virginia’s half-sister, Josephine Clemm, and newspaper magnate heard about Edgar’s interest in marrying the very young Virginia and intervened by offering to take her in and educate her. This angered Poe who saw it as a blatant attempt by his bitterest enemy to keep him and Virginia apart. So he took pen, a mighty weapon in the hands of such a talented writer, and wrote a heartfelt, emotional letter to Virginia’s mother and father pleading that they allow Virginia to make her own decision. In his letter he offered to take care of them all if they moved to Richmond.

They agreed and Poe married Virginia in 1836. Edgar was 27 and Virginia was 13. They honeymooned in Petersburg, Virginia. Needless to say, this marriage between first cousins raised more than an eyebrow. Many believed the couple never consummated the marriage, while others surmised Edgar waited until his bride was 16 before bedding her. Nevertheless, but by all accounts, Edgar and Virginia were a very happy, devoted couple. That is, despite his ever increasing dependence on alcohol and stimulants.

MHG Winnower
February 14th, 2018, 08:18 AM
What a piece of history! Many thanks for posting this and Happy Valentine's Day!

auntstuff
February 14th, 2018, 08:38 AM
Adding a bit more: Edgar was an orphan at the age of 3. He and Virginia never had children.

Hulamoon
February 14th, 2018, 09:06 AM
That was interesting. For some reason I read a lot of Poe when I was a teen. He was a great writer.

Hulamoon
February 14th, 2018, 09:19 AM
oops double post

Anitamae56
February 14th, 2018, 09:46 AM
That is very interesting. I think if I figured it right she was only 23 when she died.

KPH
February 14th, 2018, 09:50 AM
That is so cool!

I have a copy of a poem that my great grandfather wrote for my grandmother for Christmas one year. I made a cross-stitch with it and it hangs on my family wall with their pictures and a picture of my grandfather and his sister when they were small.

Carol336
February 14th, 2018, 10:13 AM
Very interesting. I was an avid reader of Poe in my teens. Passed that love of his literature on to my youngest son. Being a "Balmer girl Hon" probably has a lot to do with that - LOL

Thanks for this great trivia Anita

auntstuff
February 14th, 2018, 11:54 AM
Interesting. I have always been a huge Poe fan.

grammaterry
February 14th, 2018, 12:46 PM
a love story from the ages and she not a bad writer herself

sew-what2015
February 14th, 2018, 02:25 PM
Thank you for posting.
I never knew that about E.A. Poe. Always enjoyed his writings. Nice to learn that bit of history.