A Dream Within A Dream

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I understand this poem to a great extent(I ought to, I've been studying it for weeks), however, I have an odd feeling that I am missing something important within the poem... I have read many criticisms (and I am looking for more, if anyone can help me with that), but I am still curious to find out what others see in this poem, and to try and find that last Puzzle piece. So all who can contribute, please do.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2002


Transparently suggestive could summarize Poe's poems. This is a mature piece following thmes from 1829("Should my earthly life seem"). It adresses a farewell(therefore also symbolically ended memory). He agrees with (Annie Richmond?) that his days past are gone like a dream. He counters with saying that whether dream reality long or momentary it is equally departed. Therefore all reality and imaginary things pass like a dream. The loss is characteistic he questions with despair and defiance.

The second verse is the solitary poet on the borderland of the shore(many poems with this symbolic setting). Symbolically he cannot hold still even a few grains of sand that poour back into the sea. heavy repetition hammers home his despairing question, his attempt to save even one from the pitiless wave. Ties in with all Poe's losses. Everything is reduced to a dream(memory). But that is all and soon the dreamer himself must go while time goes on and art does not suffice to give immortality only to sing the passion of melancholy, revolt, or lament.

Not sure where your puzzle is lacking.

-- Anonymous, February 09, 2002

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