EDGAR ALLAN POE by Brod--Ed. Bagert


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An ambitious but not completely successful entry in the Poetry for Young People series (see Bolin, below). The format is admirable: a handsome sampler of poems, with a short introductory essay, unfamiliar words briefly defined in footnotes, and a few prefatory sentences for each poem to establish context and aid interpretation. Fittingly, 13 of Poe's more accessible poems appear here, including ""The Raven,"" ""The Bells,"" ""Eldorado,"" and ""Annabel Lee."" The volume concludes with passages from short stories, laid out in lines like verse; they highlight Poe's mastery of prose, but, without context, are not otherwise particularly meaningful. A larger concern is the less-than-meticulous presentation of the poems. Readers confronting Poe's unfamiliar diction need all the help they can get; inaccurately reproduced are word choices, order, line layout, punctuation, etc. Bagert does not indicate which standard edition he used--there may not be one--but even a variorum (ed. by Floyd Stovall, 1965) did not support some questionable usages. In her first book, Cobleigh provides atmospheric art: an arresting picture of ""The Raven,"" a cadaverous ghoul in ""The Bells,"" and a depiction of the narrator of ""The Tell-Tale Heart"" as a deranged Wee Willy Winky.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Sterling