A.E. Stallings


William Leonard Henry Poe

William Leonard Henry Poe
(Edgar Allan’s brother)
Likewise was a child of woe,
No father and no mother;                          

But Destiny, who will dispose,
The future in the balance,
Gave Henry to be raised by Poes,
And Edgar to the Allans.

At nineteen, Henry went to sea,
And travelled half the world.
He wrote, besides some poetry,
“The Pirate,” where he unfurled

The details of his brother’s tryst,
A doomed and early love;
And Edgar too seemed to enlist
Henry in the narrative

Of sailor Arthur Gordon Pym.
(It also would appear
That in “Lenore,” Edgar means him
When he writes “Guy de Vere.”)

Tubercular, poor Henry died,
At the age of twenty four,
With brother Edgar by his side,
In a bed in Baltimore,

And Error, who is rarely chary,
But generous in scope,
Printed his brief obituary
Under “W. H. Hope.”

A.E. Stallings‘s most recent book of poems is a selected, This Afterlife (FSG), and her most recent translation is the (illustrated!) pseudo-Homeric The Battle Between the Frogs and the Mice (Paul Dry Books). She is beginning a stint as the Oxford Professor of Poetry.