i want the explanation of "The Sleeper"....ASAP

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

i want to get the translation of the poem in simpler words and also i want to know the theme of the poem.

-- Anonymous, December 12, 2001


You can help yourself with Poe by seeing first what is happening and how the poem is divided. The do not neglect the wonderfully descriptive details! This poem was first entitled Iren. There is a classical and Christian reference echoing throughout the poem whose setting of nature, bowers, tombs is very exotic. St. Irene(of the destinies) has her own web site I believe with an interesting hagiography you might compare with the poem. Be that as it may the theme is uniquely Poe. The stillness of the "Sleeper"(deceased, catatonic?)is first described in a balmy peaceful setting with wonderful sooting sounds accompanying the images. But death and decay also lurks around this fragile innocent unaware of their danger and horror. So the poet is torn by awe of her nearly immortal ideal and the threat of change and death. He wishes her buried and that burial he prays fro does not seem a good solution either but a gloomy finality. He wants both. He wants the dead at peace but wants to retain the vision and knows he himself can not solve the problem at all or see real peace in the solution. May she sleep in a kind of eternal bliss of soft music and memory, but the tomb can be her only resting place and her fate one of final silence in a vault she once made echo with tossed stones but no more.

-- Anonymous, December 13, 2001

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