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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Short studies of American authors 2 0 Browse Search
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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Short studies of American authors, Poe. (search)
om his Chinese embassy, the poet was introduced. I distinctly recall his face, with its ample forehead, brilliant eyes, and narrowness of nose and chin; an essentially ideal face, not noble, yet any thing but coarse; with the look of over-sensitiveness which when uncontrolled may prove more debasing than coarseness. It was a face to rivet one's attention in any crowd, yet a face that no one would feel safe in loving. It is not perhaps strange that I find or fancy in the portrait of Charles Baudelaire, Poe's French admirer and translator, some of the traits that are indelibly associated with that one glimpse of Poe. I remember that when introduced he stood with a sort of shrinking before the audience, and then began in a thin, tremulous, hardly musical voice, an apology for his poem, and a deprecation of the expected criticism of the Boston public; reiterating this in a sort of persistent, querulous way, which did not seem like satire, but impressed me at the time as nauseous fla