Gothic romance is a particular fetish of mine, so obviously I love the whole debacle that is Valentine’s Day. The sheer terror that it inspires in single people and the panic and inevitable disappointment it holds for those of us who are married is what Gothic romance is all about.
Poe wrote this Valentine to a married woman and hid her name in the poem itself as a message for her eyes only. Can you figure out the riddle? I will give you a hint…it is an acrostic poem…
by Edgar Allan Poe
For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines!–they hold a treasure
Divine–a talisman–an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure-
The words–the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets–as the name is a poet’s, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
Like the knight Pinto–Mendez Ferdinando-
Still form a synonym for Truth–Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.