Who was Lenore?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Everyone knows of Poe's work "The Raven" and his mention of "Lenore". However, I found another poem by Poe titled "Lenore"; who was she to hi

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2003


Poeliked certain names for sounds, even nicknaming friends with such. Lenore can found used by other poets. However Poe has special concerns with these choices too. Helen, Lenore, Eleanora etc. are all related to the porimal idealized "Helen". Eulalie, Ulalume, are also idealized names with universalized material. The search for "his women" in various poems is not together fruitless, but as Yeats remarked about women in his poems they become amalgams and universalizations for the sake of the poem- not biography. poe's poems overtly dedicated to various real women are not necessarily biographical either and all the weaker for being too personal.

Lenore in its final version(an unsatisfying struggle to follow "Lady geraldine's Courtship" by Barrett?)is a stepping stone to "The Raven". Lenore first appears as a name replacing "Helen" the reworking of "A Paean". As in the first poem the idea of the ideal the "bright" is suggested in the names. Mabbott claims this latter use of a different form is removed from all real human reference.

In reference to his defiant attitude of joyful remembrance and enshrined hope this entire poem only matches the beginning part of "The Raven", a similar state of mind that a self-monologue with the predictable bird utterly undoes. All of Poe's losses and will to live and possess the memory begin with this affirmation, this revolt against the real and the traditional. The better poems sink to the point of present despair. Annabel Lee is another good example.

Ellen Royster has been suggested for starting off this sequence, as undeniably the figure of Mrs. Stanard. The poems have far moved beyond any personal experiences by the time of these latter poems and have nothing to do with the death of Virginia("Ulalume" is most likely related to that experience). Besides, the inner Poe as poet context remains predominant- not any relationship with another person as such.

-- Anonymous, March 07, 2003

Moderation questions? read the FAQ