Lincoln Discussion Symposium

Full Version: Abraham Lincoln Suicide Poem?
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It is interesting that one of the first things Speed told Herndon after Lincoln's death was about the suicide poem.
In another Thread (Grave of James Rutledge) about this past Halloween, I said that I had been looking at this 1838 poem, from several angles. It has at least one phrase or two that are in common with some of Lincoln's recurring themes. This from the 'anonymous Suicide poem',

"Rip up the organs of my breath, And draw my blood in showers!"

Then this from an 1848 House of Rep speech by Abraham Lincoln,

"...the blood of this war, like the blood of Abel, is crying to
Heaven...military glory that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood..."

Lurid, graphic, jarring choice of phrasing. Both, nearly identical in closing, and very unusual to find, anywhere else.
Regarding the discovery of the poem Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer said:

"It looks like Lincoln. It sounds like Lincoln. It probably is Lincoln. I don’t have many doubts that Lincoln wrote this.

"It’s like finding an unknown Vermeer. Or it’s like finding the little Michelangelo statue in the French consulate. Nobody ever suggested that it’s the true flower of his genius. It’s basically a student piece. But, still, there it is."
Tremendous research by another forum member!Roger,where would we be without you and your Lincoln verification of validity?
Thank you very much, Herb. Very nice of you. When this poem was first discovered I was somewhat skeptical, but as time has passed, and as various expert opinions have been voiced, I lean toward this poem being most likely authored by Lincoln himself.
One of those unknowns in Lincoln's life that make the study so interesting.

I have serious reservations that he wrote it, but it is possible. Lincoln seems to be one of those people who eventually gets them selves out of a period of depression by focusing and helping others.
Here is a nice article from the Spring 2004 Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association.
(08-30-2012 05:55 PM)ninabeth13 Wrote: [ -> ]I am the screenwriter of "Saving Lincoln," a new feature film about Lincoln's conflicted tenure as Commander-in-Chief, as told by his close friend and bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon. An important theme in our movie is Lincoln's struggle with crippling depression. Lamon was a garrulous banjo-player and joke-teller - one of the ways he served Lincoln was by entertaining him and lifting his spirits. Lincoln may or may not have been suicidal... but he did place himself directly in the line of fire at Fort Stevens on July 11 and 12, 1864. Lincoln at Fort Stevens is a crucial scene in "Saving Lincoln."

Yeah, I saw it. A crutial scene indeed. Among other various poignant moments. And times for laugh too, as Lamon investigate the death threats.
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