Edgar Allan Poe Loathed Misattributed Quotes To Him

Do you know Edgar Allan Poe loathed misattributed quotes found in many books, magazines and websites?

For instance this popular quote:

Sleep. Those little slices of death. How I loathe them

It is NOT by Edgar Allan Poe.

Stop attributing this quote to Poe.

Poe aka ‘Tragic Poet and Master of Mystery’ is well known for his poetry and Gothic short stories, particularly his tales of horror, mystery and the macabre, which include “The Raven“, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Fall of the House of Usher”.

Edgar Allan Poe loathed misattributed uotes

For your information, that line about sleep as little slices of death is not uttered or written by the American writer, critic and editor Edgar Allan Poe.

So, stop attributing this quotation to Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe Loathed Misattributed Quotes

Here is a list of quotes which are either wrongly attributed to Edgar Allan Poe or have being paraphrased.

I have also included the actual sources of most of them.

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry!X

The source of this quote is just a hearsay from a third party.

This line is found in 1901 biography of Edgar Allan Poe by Colonel John A. Joyce.

According to Joyce, he heard it from someone named William Barton (claimed to be a typo and foreman on the Broadway Journal) when Poe was editor of that paper.

Note: This existence of this William Barron is still unverified.

(Edgar Allan Poe By Colonel John Alexander Joyce, New York/London: F. Tennyson Neely Co., 1901, Ch. XIV, Editor “Broadway Journal” – Personal Vagaries, P. 108) source


“The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.” X

Again this is from John Alexander Joyce’s book.

There is no proper knowledge of this quote to be by Poe.

(Edgar Allan Poe By Colonel John Alexander Joyce, New York/London: F. Tennyson Neely Co., 1901, Ch. XIV, Editor “Broadway Journal” – Personal Vagaries, P. 109) source


“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.” X

This line is a adaptation from the famous line from Poe’s short story “Eleonora”:

“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence…”

(Edgar Allan Poe’s Annotated Short Stories, Edited And Introduced By Andrew Barger, United Kingdom: Bottletree Books LLC, 2008, Eleonora (Works, 1850), P. 144) source

(The quote is also found here and here.)


“Sometimes I’m afraid of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts.” X

This line is from the song titled “Terrified Heart” by a female American singer-songwriter Anne Decatur Danielewski, who called herself Poe.

You can hear the 52-second audio track over at YouTube. It is from her album called “Haunted“.


“The past is a pebble in my shoe.” X

Again this line is actually from a song by the lady singer named Poe and not the famous writer.

The title of the song is “Today” which is a soundtrack for the 1998 movie “Great Expectation“.


“No one should brave the underworld alone.” X

Goodness.  Here is another one which is from the rock musician Poe’s song lyrics “Hello“.


“The best things in life make you sweaty.” X

I have read that Poe drank heavily, but I don’t think he did sweat profusely to come up with this silly stinky quote.


“To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.” X

It is a mashed-up line from Poe’s 1846 review of William Cullen Bryant‘s poetry together with Poe’s essay “The Poetic Principle” published in 1850.

The line from review of William Cullen Bryant‘s poetry is:

“Poetry, in elevating, tranquilizes the soul ”

(The Literati: Some Honest Opinions About Autorial Merits and Demerits, With Occasional Words Of Personality, Together with Marginalia, Suggestions, And essays By Edgar Allan Poe, New York: J. S. Redfield, 1850, William Cullen Bryant, P. 182) source

The line from Poe’s essay of literary criticism: “The Poetic Principle” is:

“I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul.”

(Essays & Reviews By Edgar Allan Poe, New York: The Library Of America, 1984, The Poetic Principle, P. 71) source


“Invisible things are the only realities.” X

This quote is NOT originally conceived by Edgar Allan Poe.

In Poe’s “Loss Of Breath: A Tale Neither In Nor Out Of “Blackwood”, he quoted it from English political philosopher and novelist William Goldwin.

(The Complete Tales and Poems Of Edgar allan Poe, New York: The Modern Library, 1938, Tales, Loss Of Breath: A Tale Neither In Nor Out Of “Blackwood”, P. 396) source

It is a line William Goldwin’s 3-volume novel “Mandeville“.

The complete line is:

“Invisible things are the only realities; invisible things alone are the things that shall remains.”

(Mandeville: A Tale Of The Seventeenth Century In England By William Goldwin, In Three Volumes, Volume III, Edinburgh: Archibald Constable And Company, 1817, P. 48) source


“Stupidity is a talent for misconceptions.” X

This is another rewritten line from Poe’s work.

In “The Rationale of Verse,” Poe wrote:

“On account of the stupidity of some people, or, (if talent be a more respectable word,) on account of their talent for misconception…”

(Poems And Essays On Poetry By Edgar Allan Poe, Edited With An Introduction By C. H. Sisson, New York: Routledge, 2003, Essays On Poetry, The Rationale Of Verse, P. 111) source


“If you run out of ideas follow the road; you’ll get there.” X

So far, I cannot find any proper source attributing this quote to Poe.


“A woman being never at a loss… the devil always sticks by them.” X

This quote is actually from a letter written by the flamboyant and notorious English Romantic poet Lord Byron.

(Letters And Journals Of Lord Byron: With Notices Of His Life By Thomas Moore, In Two Volumes, Vol. II, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1855, Letter CCLIX, To Mr. Moore, A.D. 1817, P. 52) source


“The ninety and nine are with dreams, content, but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.” X

The above stanza is from a verse from Ted Olsen‘s poem called “Dreamer and Doer”.

(Seaman’s Journal, Index Volume 41, January 1927- December 1927, February 1927, P. 28) source


“The idea of God, infinity, or spirit stands for the possible attempt at an impossible conception.” X

It is actually a paraphrase of a passage from Poe’s “Eureka”: A Prose Poem“.

“Let us begin, then, at once, with that merest of words, ‘Infinity.’ This, like ‘God,’ ‘spirit,’ and some other expressions of which the equivalents exist in all languages, is by no means the expression of an idea, but of an effort at one. It stands for the possible attempt at an impossible conception.”

(Poetry And Tales By Edgar Allan Poe, New York: The Library Of America, 1984, Eureka, P. 1272) source

(The quote is also found here.)


“A million candles have burned themselves out. Still I read on.” X

Many websites, including Goodreads, said it is from Poe’s story, “The Cask of Amontillado”.

But not surprisingly, I could not find that line in that story.

If you don’t believe me, here is Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado“.


“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.” X

These lines are from a poem title “A Psalm Of Life” by poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

(Poetical Works: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1904, A Psalm Of Life P. 20) source

(The quote is also found here.)


“I do not suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.” X

Writer Poe died in 1849 and this expression only appeared in the twentieth century. So, it could not be by him.


“Come little children
I’ll take thee away, into a land of Enchantment
Come little children the time’s come to play
Here in my garden of Shadows
Follow sweet children I’ll show thee the way
Through all the pain and the Sorrows
Weep not poor children
For life is this way murdering beauty and Passions
Hush now dear children it must be this way
To weary of life and Deceptions
Rest now my children for soon we’ll away
Into the calm and the Quiet
Come little children
I’ll take thee away, into a land of Enchantment
Come little children the time’s come to play
Here in my garden of Shadows” X

This is a song from the 1993 Halloween movie, “Hocus Pocus”, which stars Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy.

The song is “Come, Little Children” composed by James Horner and lyrics by John Debney. Sung in the movie by Sarah Jessica Parker.


“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” X

Edgar Allan Poe did use this similar line in his short story “Ligeia“.

(Edgar Allan Poe’s Annotated Short Stories, Edited And Introduced By Andew Barger, United Kingdom: Bottletree Books LLC, 2008, Ligeia, P. 249) source

Poe was quoting English philosopher Francis Bacon’s writing.

You can find this line in one of Francis Bacon’s essays “Of Beauty“:

“There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.”

(The Works Of Francis Bacon, Baron Of Verulam, Viscont St. Alban And Lord High Chancellor Of England, In Ten Volumes, Vol. II, London: J. Johnson, W. J. And J. Richardson 7 Others, 1803, Essay Or Counsels Civil And Moral, XLIII, Of Beauty, P. 357) source


“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.” X

You don’t need to be brainy to know that the above silly quip is definitely not by Poe.

It is no mystery, it is used to be in Brainy Quotes.

Anyway, it is still published in Goodreads.


“I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind.” X

Don’t lose your mind over this quote. There is no evidence whatsoever that it is by Poe.


“If a poem hasn’t ripped apart your soul, you haven’t experienced poetry.” X

No, no. no this is a spurious Edgar Allan Poe quote.

It time to rip apart these fake Edgar Allan fake quotes.


“The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls.” X

The the scariest monsters are bogus Poe quotes that still lurk within the internet.

This is what I am talking about Edgar Allan Poe loathed misattributed quotes.

Take Note: Beware when using or sharing quotes from those popular established quotation websites.

There are many questionable Poe quotes found in Goodreads, which include:

“Art is to look at not criticize.”, “Every poem should remind the reader they are going to die.” and “If you are ever drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations.”.

Good grief, Goodreads!

By the way, here is a list of authentic Edgar Allan Poe quotes that linked to credible sources.