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What does the poem "Dreams" by Edgar Allan Poe symbolize?

-- Anonymous, May 08, 2000


I have no clue, but I am curious myself. If you find out would you please forward it to me at Naughtybnice14@yahoo.com Thanks, Danielle

-- Anonymous, May 11, 2000


The poem "Dreams" was pubished only once by Poe in his volume "Tamerlane" in 1827. The text version of "Dreams" that I have available to me is from a book called "Edgar Allan Poe - Complete tales and Poems" by Barnes & Noble with bibliographical notes by Edward H O'Neill. This version is from a manuscript dated 1828 in the Morgan Library. According to O'Neill, it did appear again in October 1827 signed with the initials W. H. P. This was most likely William Henry Poe, Edgar's brother. I have yet to see a definitive analysis or interpretation of this poem and what I offer here is sheer speculation and best guesses.

Poe, himself, once said that some of the poems included in "Tamerlane" were boyhood creations while he was still 14 years old. It was at this time that he met Ms. Jane Stith Stanard, the mother of a classmate with whom he had become infatuated. The poem's primary theme appears to be youth and the dreams of youth. It does seem to have a youthful naivete and innocence to it that appears to focus on a disappoinment in reality and a preference for the surreal dream state. I seriously doubt that Poe, at lease at the time, recognized some of his passages as applicable to his own sensibilities.

While there are some lines that are charming and refined for a youthful author, with the exception of the dreams of youth, the poem appears to disobey some of the poetic principles that he, himself will define later in his life. But so it goes for an idealistic young gentleman of the South with a mind full of romantic legends from Greek mythology.


-- Anonymous, May 11, 2000

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