How about some dope on ULALUME : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I am very interested in finding out more about what the poem ULALUME is all about. Some explication of what Poe was doing here 153 years ago would be appreciated. Thanks and Happy All Hallows Eve - Thanks much Jack Shanle

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2000


This mail will be a big disapointment,sorry therefor. I'm in search for the content of the poem myself. This is what I've found till now: Probably Ulalume is a nickname for Poe's lost love Virginia. You'll find a lot of information on sites about her. She was Poe's niece and married him on a very young age. He adored her. But eleven years after the marriage she died of tuberculosis. The poem can be seen as a kind of flight from his pain. He 's trying to forget her by simply dening her. But he fails (what is written on the doors of this legendary thomb, Ulalume, Ulalume, it is the vault of thy lost Ulalume). At the end Poe takes back a part of the first stanza, but in contrast. It is clear that he can go never back to this first state of mind, he is doomed to know, doomed to remember. Psyche can be an other woman or drugs (Poe was a famous fan of heroin) that he at first helps him to forget, but is also the one who leads him back to the thomb. Heroin gives flashbacks, so maybe it is becaus of his heroin-use that he get's nightmares and that her (Virginia) memory's disturbe his sleep.

That's all I found. But there's so much I just can't figure out. I hope that if you find more, you'll mail me.



-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001


Two points: 1. Virginia was Poe's cousin, not niece. 2. He is accused of using opium, not heroin (which did not exist in his day). In any event, he didn't use opium, see loads of threads on this site or any good biography.

Other than that, carry on....

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2001

I've also been in search of information on this poem. I'm suprised by how little attention it is given by his fans on so many of the web pages I've looked at. This is definitely my favorite. I've muddled through a bit of it, but it's still a mystery to me. I can tell you what I think I know about it and maybe that will help someone who's in search of this information. I can point out the obvious facts... that Dian may be the moon goddess of ancient roman mythology. Also, Psyche means soul in greek, but I think he makes it pretty plain that he's "walking" with his soul in the poem. I guess Dian's appearance is a sudden spark of remembrence, he begins to follow this memory which eventually leads him to the vault of some painful tragedy from his past that he had supressed. That would explain why Psyche was so frantic to turn back and not remember. I know also that Poe wrote this poem around the time Virginia died, and many think Ulalume represents her. There are a lot of little details that are well worth knowing, like the definitions of many of the words and places he uses and refers to. A lot of the definitions can be found here:

take a look, I hope this helps in some way. I'd love to know more so tell me what you think. Keep in mind all I've written is my guess, correct me if I've said anything wrong. Thanks, ---rone

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2001

Some suggestions about the origine of the cognomen "ULALUME": ** ULLA-LULLA** : "the Irish lamentation for the Dead" -- as Th. CAMPBELL specified by a foot-note for the verse XI of his beautiful poem "O' CONNOR'S CHILD" (1810) Poe knew, without any doubt, through a lot of various editions. Nobody seems to have explored the broad influence of this author on Poe. LEIGH RITCHIE, in his illustrated "PICTURESQUE IRELAND" (1837), gave the word **ULLA-LOO** for the same meaning. And why not to consider some Poe's punning like **YOU'LL ILLUME**? The verb 'to illume' does not appear unfrequently in Romantic (either major or minor) poets (Coleridge, Milman, Procter, Wilson...) and drives, to my feeling, to a thoroughly relevant name for a lost rare and radiant maiden guiding her harmful lover in such a weird way... Don't you think so? Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, November 13, 2001

P. S. I intentionally used the shocking adjective "harmful" because nothing indicates that the upset lover of these fascinating lines was a kind one... Here lies, indeed, Poe's prodigious, magic power: never to be too precise, and always to leave the reader's imagination to complete the picture. And, for the sake of poor Eddy, please let us never fall into the belief that the narrator -- the "I" -- should be the author! Even when deliberately transfusing some of his own thoughts in the mind or talk of his various characters, Poe is never any of them. No more for the moment. Yours, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, November 14, 2001

Logic lulaby or mesmeric incantation ??

Blah, blah, blah

What is the link between the poetís frantic psyche and the readerís fascination? The CREATIVE IMAGINATION; no less, no more.

Blabber from no-manís-land

originally established in comic sans MS font

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2001

Dear Jean Paul You could also look on the item "Any insights on Ulalume??? " from Anne Paskewitz ( on April 29th. 2000; on this same site,Lusenet, the Work of EAP. Yours sincerely, Will

-- Anonymous, November 24, 2001

Well, I can tell you this much: Diana, or Artemis is the goddess of the moon and the hunt in Greek mythology, and she was relatively cold and merciless. Psyche is another character who supposedly married cupid, but she/it also could stand for the narrators' soul. I am fairly certain that the "Astarte" the narrator mentions is referring to the goddess of love and beauty, Venus, or Aphrodite, whose son was cupid. As the legend goes, Venus was very upset with Psyche because she was compared in beauty to the goddess, and made her perform a number of nearly impossible acts. This might explain why even though the narrator believes "Astarte" is warm, Psyche still distrusts her knowing that she is not sincere and will lead to heartbreak, in this case Ulalumes' tomb. ~Meg

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002

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