Mood of "A Dream" by Poe : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I can't figure out the "mood" of "A Dream". I don't know if this is the same poem as "A Dream Within A Dream". (I hope I can post the poem) In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed- But a waking dream of life and light Hath left me broken-hearted. (I can post the rest if I need to)

I think he's holding onto the past for comfort at this time in his life, but I honestly don't know. It seems like it's either that, or he's thinking about the past and it's making him depressed. ??? I'd appreciate any help, and if anyone knows of a site that dissects poems and helps with meanings I'd be SO appreciative. Thanks.

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2001


I wish I knew a good site for in depth poetic analysis as well. "Dreams" "Dreamland" "A Dream Within a Dream" and "A Dream" are distinctive poems with the word in the title. Obviously the word and theme shows up in many others. Also an essay(still doubtful in authorship but capturing the Poe idea)on dreaming can be found among Poe's essays on Check the early version of this early poem(1827). "A wilder'd being from my birth" "spurning all control".

Real life "dreams" or hopes found tantalizing realization in some literary(if not monetary) success plus his true love of Virginia. With Virginia's death all the poetic vision is threatened. Now his true love IS out there in a dim heaven as a star of hope- after death. Now his boyhood initial poetic awakening and brief unspoiled happiness is the sole memory that he can look to without pain. What had been a poetic conceit partly arising from tragedies of his youth(death of mother, step-mother, rejection by step-father, death of woman guide friend Stannard)now becomes cruelly realized with failure and loss concretely preeminent. Some dreams are all that "middle" land, that shore of darkness between a finished life and the beyond with no siight of the beacon of Hope, the guiding Daystar, the eyes of his idealized beauty or beloved to bolster his spirits. Some, almost defiantly grim, proclaim that hope which grounds his soul.

But the poem "A Dream", an early poem based on the contrast of youth and early career difficulties, is not so despairing. It considers the activity of looking at the past as a sustaining hope, a daydream so to speak. Beleaguered by present storms of difficulty the light wavers in his sight but his faith in it is obvious. Still, the contrast of present and ideal past is painful since his hopes for the real future are diappointed or dim and the present a cause for anguish. He realizes the damage done by his orphaning and failed upbringing. Later revisions make the poem more a universal statement of his whole life.

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2001

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