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Lines on Ale (1848) – Edgar Allen Poe ?

Lines on Ale (1848) – Edgar Allen Poe ?

I was feeling in quite a literary mood today, and was looking to attach a bit more gravitas to getting drunk on beer on my couch. I came across this wonderful 8-line poem which has been historically attributed to Edgar Allen Poe.


Lines on Ale (1848)

“Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain.
Quaintest thoughts, queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away.
What care I how time advances;
I am drinking ale today.”

Now this little factoid certainly made me less reticent to down a 6 pack on a lovely Saturday afternoon, but being the obsessive compulsive that I am, I needed to dig a little deeper (otherwise this would be a simple meme share on our Facebook page perpetuating untruths)


Unqualified Meme

“Lines on Ale” was discovered at the Washington Tavern in Lowell, Massachusetts where the original copy hung on the wall until about 1920.The rumour is that it may have been written by Poe to pay his drinking bill.

Unfortunately it has been rejected by The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, and others feel it is unlikely to be written by Poe as it is uncharacteristic of his work. Still, there are those who champion it as a Poe original even arguing that it may be a parody of a famous poem at Poe’s time.

The truth of whether Poe actually wrote it remains questionable. However, whether written by Poe or by a complete unknown, I get shivers when a person from a hundred years ago can articulate my feelings towards our effervescent beverage.

Now pass me an ale. I am going to pass out while binge-watching Netflix.

About The Author
Peter Tan
Dilettante. I had to look that up.

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