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Has anybody read The Orfeo by Poliziano? Edgar Allan Poe mentioned it in the Assignation, It’s because I don’t understand if the Poem below (“Thou wast that all to me, love, For which my soul did pine — A green isle in the sea, love…”) it’s created by Poe o it’s in fact a part of The Orfeo’s tragedy that Poe considered a good one to put into his story. If this poem was created by Poe (how I can imagine) what is the Orfeo tragedy about? Specially the part that Poe emphasizes (“…It was a passage towards the end of the third act — a passage of the most heart-stirring excitement — a passage which, although tainted with impurity, no man shall read without a thrill of novel emotion — no woman without a sigh…”) I know that everything that Poe wrote in his stories have a reason to be there and to understand better the message of the story and the personalities of the characters I would like to know well this part. I hope somebody can help me. Thanks….. and sorry for my grammar and my pour English.

-- Anonymous, October 20, 2003


Angelo Poliziano actually wrote a short pastoral fable (a kind of "masque") on the well-known classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, entitled "Orfeo" (1480), with dialogues and Choir, for stage-performance (with music), but not really divided in acts as evoked by Poe's narrator of "The Assignation" (initially "The Visionary", in 1834). Note that this work is, nevertheless, often considered as the first Italian non-religious theater piece. Poe probably introduced it in order to increase the cultural/intellectual ambiance of refinement, as well as for the perfect keeping and well relevantness of matter of this mythic post mortem Rendez-Vous, with the one of his own tale, and with the one of the included poem (really Poe's own composition, republished out of this context with the well-chosen title "To One in Paradise"...) supposed to be some idle lines from the pen of the strongly Byronic lover (usually considered as a "pastiche", as you probably know it, both for the tale itself and for its verses) of this gloomy tale. A complex Arabesque, for sure, as you very rightly guessed -- nothing fortuitous indeed nor gratuitous with this bright genius. Never. Sorry for my hasty and badly formulated answer, but today, the public cyber-café from which I write is crowded by very noisy kids playing at various nervous electronic war-games. They seem out of their mind... Contagious! Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, October 21, 2003

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