An Enigma Poem by Edgar Allan Poe
“Seldom we find,” says Solomon Don Dunce,
“Half an idea in the profoundest sonnet.
Through all the flimsy things we see at once
As easily as through a Naples bonnet—
Trash of all trash!—how can a lady don it?
Yet heavier far than your Petrarchan stuff—
Owl-downy nonsense that the faintest puff
Twirls into trunk-paper the while you con it.”
And, veritably, Sol is right enough.
The general tuckermanities are arrant
Bubbles—ephemeral and so transparent—
But this is, now—you may depend upon it—
Stable, opaque, immortal—all by dint
Of the dear names that lie concealed within’t.
Note on An Enigma from Edgar Allan Poe’s Complete Poetical Works by John H. Ingram
“An Enigma,” addressed to Mrs. Sarah Anna Lewig (“Stella”), was sent to that lady in a letter, in November 1847, and the following March appeared in Sartain’s Union Magazine.