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Tamerlane - Unabridged Copy

  • Leader
    September 20, 2014
    In The Unabridged Edgar Allan Poe, he has footnotes for various works. One of those is Tamerlane and that link also has the footnotes. If you go read the poem, and then the notes, you can get some understanding of how #Poe wrote and his thought process while writing it, or just his explanation of it. Also, the spelling in it is his own. Please read the full poem before reading the footnotes below.





    I have sent for thee, holy friar;

    [/blockquote]





    His notes:





    Of the history of Tamerlane little is known; and with that little, I have taken the full liberty of a poet. — That he was descended from the family of Zinghis Khan is more than probable — but he is vulgarly supposed to have been the son of a shepherd, and to have raised himself to the throne by his own address. He died in the year 1405, in the time of Pope Innocent VII.



    How I shall account for giving him “a friar,” as a death-bed confessor — I cannot exactly determine. He wanted some one to listen to his tale — and why not a friar? It does not pass the bounds of possibility — quite sufficient for my purpose — and I have at least good authority on my side for such innovations.

    [/blockquote]





    Then we have:



    The mists of the Taglay have shed

    [/blockquote]





    with his notes:





    The mountains of Belur Taglay are a branch of the Immaus, in the southern part of Independent Tartary. — They are celebrated for the singular wildness, and beauty of their vallies.

    [/blockquote]





    From the poem:



    Dwell [[Dwelt]] in a seraph’s breast than thine;

    [/blockquote]





    His note:



    I must beg the reader’s pardon for making Tamerlane a Tartar of the fourteenth century, speak in the same language as a Boston gentleman of the nineteenth; but of the Tartar mythology we have little information.

    [/blockquote]





    From Tamerlane, the next with a note:



    Which blazes upon Edis’ shrine.

    [/blockquote]





    His note:



    A deity presiding over virtuous love, upon whose imaginary altar, a sacred fire was continually blazing.

    [/blockquote]





    And again from Tamerlane



    That any should become “great,” born

    [/blockquote]





    Poe's note:



    Although Tamerlane speaks this, it is not the less true. It is a matter of the greatest difficulty to make the generality of mankind believe that one, with whom they are upon terms of intimacy, shall be called, in the world, a “great man.” The reason is evident. There are few great men. Their actions are consequently viewed by the mass of the people thro’ the medium of distance. — The prominent parts of their character are alone noted; and those properties, which are minute and common to every one, not being observed, seem to have no connection with a great character.



    Who ever read the private memorials, correspondence, &c. which have become so common in our time, without wondering that “great men” should act and think “so abominably?”

    [/blockquote]





    [/blockquote]





    And again from Tamerlane



    Her own Alexis, who should plight

    [/blockquote]





    Notes from Poe:



    That Tamerlane acquir’d his renown under a feigned name is not entirely a fiction.

    [/blockquote]





    From Tamerlane



    Look ‘round thee now on Samarcand,

    [/blockquote]





    Poe's note:



    I believe it was after the battle of Angoria that Tamerlane made Samarcand his residence. It became for a time the seat of learning and the arts.

    [/blockquote]





    Tamerlane:



    And who her sov’reign? Timur he

    [/blockquote]





    Poe's note:



    He was called Timur Bek as well as Tamerlane.

    [/blockquote]





    Tamerlane



    The Zinghis’ yet re-echoing fame.

    [/blockquote]





    Poe's note



    The conquests of Tamerlane far exceeded those of Zinghis Khan. He boasted to have two thirds of the world at his command.

    [/blockquote]





    Tamerlane



    To those whose spirits hark’n) as one

    [/blockquote]





    Poe's note



    I have often fancied that I could distinctly hear the sound of the darkness, as it steals over the horizon — a foolish fancy perhaps, but not more unintelligible than to see music —



    “The mind the music breathing from her face.” ­

    [/blockquote]





    Tamerlane



    The trancient, passionate day-flow’r,

    [/blockquote]





    Poe's note



    There is a flow’r, (I have never known its botanic name,) vulgarly called the day flower. It blooms beautifully in the day-light, but withers towards evening, and by night its leaves appear totally shrivelled and dead. I have forgotten, however, to mention in the text, that it lives again in the morning. If it will not flourish in Tartary, I must be forgiven for carrying it thither.

    [/blockquote]





    Alright so from the above quotes, we get a pretty good idea of how he felt and why he wrote this poem. Anyone want to discuss any of these quotes or the poem?



    #poe