Jan 19

Edgar Allen Poe

Today is also the date of another notable American’s birth. It was 205 years ago that Edgar Allen Poe was born. Poe is most well known for short stories and poetry with an element of eerie mystery. From the frenzied suspense depicted in, The Tell Tale Heart, to the haunting words of The Raven (nevermore) and this, Dream Within a Dream, Poe’s writing has the ability to hold the reader in an anxious state of half fear/half ether.

A Dream Within a Dream

by Edgar Allen Poe


Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


Analysis of the poem here.

Poe was considered by many accounts to be an odd individual and it seems that his work attracted some rather odd followers, as well. Some say that it was Absinthe, also known as “The Green Fairy”, that drove him mad. Other stories refer to his alleged use of laudanum and opium. Some critics assert that these were a literary device. Whatever it was that tormented his soul surely had an influence on his work.

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