comment to "Ulalum"greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
What does mean the phrase: "She is warmer than Dian"? First - goddes of Moon Diana is of feminine gender and Dian seems to be of masculine. Second - it's a very strange comparison. Diana isn't warm at all. It must be cold. I'm thinking about african people dian or dyan living in Upper Volta - very hot place indeed. If one wants to say that Astarte is very warm it's more sensible to compare her with african Dian than Diana. Unfortunately I can't find enough information about this people. Thank you.
-- Anonymous, May 13, 2001
Poe could be very erudite in choosing a reference, but even this was subservient to mood and sound. Shortening Diana to Dian for meter and especially to rhyme with "dry on" three verses later. He prefers Astarte(Venus, daystar and goddess of love) vs. the cold virginal Diana, goddess of the moon. He is trying to see this as a bright sign of Hope and Beauty- until the light reveals the tomb of his lost Ulalume.
-- Anonymous, May 15, 2001