To me Poe was more spectral than human, and I used often to feel a deep sadness when I heard persons of ordinary perceptions and little idealism speak of him with severity. In this country there is no niche for the men of genius; everybody writes verses, but we have few poets, and very few with singleness of purpose to admire the patient toil of the student in the realms of Art. In Europe it is otherwise; there the severe rules of common life are not applied to the child of genius. He is recognized as exceptional, and fostered with genial care. The hardening process necessary to adapt our poets to the requirements of the Republic, is most likely to destroy the finer threads of his being, and by becoming “practical” he ceases to be ideal. Some few giants in literature are able to combine the actual and the ideal; but there exists a large class who are not strong, but are most lovely–stars of the lesser magnitude, which it is sorrowful to contemplate as fading stars, beautiful Alcyones, obliterated from the glittering galaxies of Art.

There were many rumors as to the parentage of Poe, which it is of little consequence to consider, for the fact must remain, that father and mother, one or both, must have possessed organizations exquisitely fine and intellectual. Their child was a poet in every sense; certainly he was not like any other person we ever met; he was entirely original, if the worse for it, and without any adaptability to the circumstances around him. I do not know how it would have fared with him had he not found one true, patient, devoted friend in the person of his wife’s mother, Mrs. Clemm. She never wearied in her love and thoughtfulness for him.

“But, madam,” somebody says, “you do not consider that Poe was a man, and ought himself to have been the protector.”