What is the meaning of The Conquerer Worm?

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What is the meaning of The Conquerer Worm?

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2000


You need to read Ligea to understand the poem better.... the poem was written in the context of that short story so to understand the poem, you need to read the story. I'm sure you can find Ligea around this website somewhere


-- Anonymous, March 15, 2000

A 60's Hammer Horror movie starring vincent Price. Now titled Witch Finder general.

-- Anonymous, January 01, 2001

Conquerer Worm, I am almost sure, is about the silencing actions of society/government (dancing mimes) and how it fills the spotlight so that nothing else can. And soon enough, at its most vulnerable moment of control, something more powerful and almost sarcastically large in size comes to destroy it; this thing, this "writhing" thing is revolution, and it is ugly in the beam of the spotlight. The innocence and the lack of understanding in these "mimes" is shown once they are being ripped apart, and the "sobbing seraphs" would be the spiritual nature, maybe fate, or the heavens, the only entities that even understand the entire thing because it's on a spiritual level. The Worm wins, and yet it leaves behind a lot of imperfections and mess, because there is no clean way to trash a society and its standards. Things must be started again in this mess, but over all, the Conquerer Worm has won. It is prophetic, as if Poe foresaw a big revolt. And my belief that it is prophetic? I'm not getting into that one.

You would think it were vice-versa, wouldn't you? That the mimes and "peace" are destroyed by this Worm (which would be government or war or even society) because it cannot have peace in this spotlight. That's too easy, and if you've got a good enough feeling about Poe, like I do, (like you damn near know the man like a neighbor), you'd think it were the first scenario. He never did anything in foundation as it looks on the exterior. The short story explanation also might be true, but keep in mind the fact that Poe said in his essays that he wrote poems based on others' stories because he felt his point could be found in that particular story.

-- Anonymous, August 15, 2001

Here's what we discussed in the Poetry 522 class that I am taking in college: The conqueror worm is not an allegory. It doesn't necessarily have a point. In line 8 when it refers to "the music of the spheres" it refers to an ideal of a time before the 18th century where the Earth was the center of the universed and all of the other heavenly bodies revolved around the earth and were supposed to make music. Make note of the fact that in line 3 the "angel wings" are not doing anything but in line 15 the "condor wings" are doing something (draw your own conclusions from this) - condors are like death; and the word "flapping" in line 15 refers to the "formless things" in line 13. There's not a locatable speaker in this poem because nobody can tell the story of God. hope this helps

-- Anonymous, February 13, 2005

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