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what is the answer to the poem "A Valentine"

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2001


Some anthologies mercifully highlight the answer hidden within the poetic riddle in bold print or italics. Starting with the first letter of the first line then working down with the second letter of the second line, third of the third, etc., it spells out the name of Poe's friend, fellow poet and object of mild flirtation, FRANCES SARGENT OSGOOD. See also the poem "An Enigma" Poe's articles on ciphers and the story "The Gold Bug." Also Poe's last puzzler was just solved last year revealing a quote from some unknown romance novel text. Incredibly difficult, mainly because the printer botched the complex multi alphabet lettering. The solver used computer techniques to help him along.

-- Anonymous, July 19, 2001

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