analysis of Poe's "A Dream Within A Dream" : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I'm not a very big poetry person, and for my college lit class, we need to do a research paper on one of Poe's poems. So i picked "A Dream Within A Dream." So if someone can help begin writing, or give me a couple hints or examples, I think I can go from there, but I need it as soon as possible.

-- Anonymous, January 08, 2002


First you might want to look at Poe's different versions of this poem at Perhaps the simplest aspect of this poem goes to the title line and the fleeting mortality of all things which the poet protests. In the last version there are two sections, one addressed to a lady(Annie?)upon parting with some philosophical comment. The poet then describes himself on the shore unable to symbolically grasp any of his past happiness whether they are true memories or visions. All are gone into the past, into the sea(see Annabel Lee and other poems by the shore which is a boundary between life and death where the poet often takes his stand and finds himself). He has lost the past and he is bereft and suffering on the shore, not dead or able to see hope in the future. Other poems show him looking up at this point to some starry beacon of Hope. As tragedies mutliplied his poems become darker, angrier, defiant, despairing or simply wrapt in anguish or horror.

Look at the triple line, the mid point of the poem, the symmetry, the repetition, the duality of the actual life and the artisitic visions(see or seem, in a moment or in a dream, the two "I Weep")the dialogue with the other. Is the kiss on the brow the parting with the deceased? Is the fact of her death the statement he affirms with bitterness? The golden grains, like the Raven become the symbol of loss and powerlessness and his inability to hold them brings on his insight and despairing question. Life is lost like a dream. Art cannot save the vision or the memory. Any reference to Hinduism and the Transcendentalists is probably not a good fit. This is Poe's unique idea. What comes before or what may come after is lost and cut off as it is in the poem story itself.

-- Anonymous, January 10, 2002

Hey! Dio uses it yes he sings *it's a dream within a dream* heyheyhey I was sure that Poe had many emules nowadays!!!

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2002

I personaly think that this a poem that inspires so much to the mind

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2002

I sort of think that this poem is all about how Poe is in love with a woman--or trying to find love in a relationship--yet the few women in his life "creep through my fingers to the deep." It is sad that he cannot save one from the "pitiless" evil-sounding wave--perhaps an obsticle of some sort. His tone changes in the poem from the first stanza to the second one. At first it seems that he (his love life) is in a dream-land--he is so happy that it seems as if "his days have been a dream." He even kisses this person "upon the brow." The second stanza is rather different because he loses her "amid the roar of a surf-tormented shore." The only question is : How?

-- Anonymous, April 21, 2002

I think I am too late to help Maya with this poem but maybe some eles would need it. What I got from it was that he was saying goodbye to his love, his hope, and sayign that the time has seemed to be jsut a dream, and then the "Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day, In a vision, or in none, Is it therefore the less gone? All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream" part I feel is saying yet if one hope, or dream goes away it turns into another dream becuase it is dream after dream. Then the end one i take it that he wants to save his dream (some believe it is his wife becuase this last part was added around her death) and no matter how tightly he grasps it he cant save it from being taken away. and then he askes if all that we see or seen is but a dream within a dream?. Also another thing you can use in concideration when looking at this is when poe wrote about dreams in his work he usually was comparing that past with the unknown (hope) of tomarrow. Hope this helps

-- Anonymous, May 19, 2002

Hmmmm... More than a year later... I dont think i can help anymore, for i am doing an analysis of that very poem as we speak... hmmmm...

-- Anonymous, October 29, 2003

Yeah, I'm doing an analysis on it right now too, lol... and I think I'm a bit late to put any helpful information here ;)

-- Anonymous, November 23, 2003

Ahhh yaaa... i'm also doing an analysis on this... haven't really started yet.. thanks for those of yout that did put your thoughts down on what the poem was about

-- Anonymous, December 01, 2003

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