To My Mother

Portrait of Madame Charles Pierre Pecoul nee Potain, Mother in Law of the Artist. Jacques-Louis David. 1784.


To My Mother

Edgar Allen Poe, 1849


Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,

The angels, whispering to one another,

Can find, among their burning terms of love,

None so devotional as that of “Mother,”

Therefore by that dear name I long have called you—

You who are more than mother unto me,

And fill my heart of hearts, where death installed you,

In setting my Virginia’s spirit free,

My mother—my own mother, who dies early,

Was but the mother of myself; but you

Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,

And thus are dearer than the mother I knew

By that infinity with which my wife

Was dearer to my soul than it soul-life.


This beautiful poem is addressed by Poe to his mother-in-law, the mother of his young wife Virginia Clemm. Virginia died of consumption at the age of twenty-four.

2 thoughts on “To My Mother”

  1. So nice to hear Edgar Allen Poe write something that doesnt give me the chills! I just reread The Raven today and studied the haunt poem, Annabel Lee, in English along with “The Red Death” which almost gave me tachycardia! (Exaggerating like a Cuban of course) But this poem is a very nice surprise to read from Poe.
    Poor fellow…

  2. I was surprised by this poem too, and found it while looking for the Rossetti poem that follows. What a beautiful tribute this is to Poe’s mother-in-law!

    Soon I will be posting Poe’s poem “The Bells,” one of my favorites.

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