Melton prior Institut


Linton- Life in the Collections

William James Linton aka Abel Reid:

30) Pot-Pourri.

New York 1875

The small publication collects eleven Poe parodies by Linton. He didn’t think much of Poe’s poems, whose posthumous fame had reached its climax by that time. “In Poe we see the admireable result of much study of words, rhymes, and assonances, mellifluous, meaningless jingles, pleasant to musical ears, this and but little else.” (Linton, Life of Whittier) “Linton believed that poetry, like every other form of human endeavor, should be subservient to life itself and could never speak too severely of the art for art’s sake enthusiast. Mere jugglers with words, aiming to set forth no ideal of life, found harsh consideration at his hands. The one poet whom he especially abhorred on these grounds was Edgar Allan Poe, whom he ridiculed in several rather clever parodies—ghoul poems, he called them - collected and published in 1876 under the significant title, Pot Pourri. Mr. Linton admired Poe’s marvelous technical skill, but to his mind, the author of The Bells and Israfel was not a poet, but merely one of the curiosities of literature. His attitude towards Poe, together with his admiration for Milton and Shelley, give the key to his own poetic aspiration. The art-for-art’s-sake advocates, however, might make a telling point against Mr. Linton in his own career.” (Hendrik Burton)