E.A. Poe's mood of lonlinessgreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
I am doing a research paper for English class on Edgar Allan Poe. I need to find out how he used a mood of lonliness in his poems. If you are doing a research paper like me, PLEASE help me. I dont want to fail this class. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ME SO PLEASE HELP ME.
-- Anonymous, February 28, 2002
From real life losses(orphan, loss of aunt guardian, banishment by Mr. Allan, dumping by Royster, death of older brother) to the inner refuge of a unique and melancholy mind, loneliness is an inescabale them. His earliest fragment "Last night, with many cares and toils oppress'd, Weary, I laid me on a couch to rest-"The solitary poet narrator of "To Helen" and "The Raven" looking for hope but especially living in a trap of loss and disappointment and care, oppressed and haunted by inescapable memories of the dead. The last poems like "Ulalume and "Annabel Lee" and even "The Bells" are also portraying the lonely man stuck at the tomb of the past. Sonnet on Silence is probably the most enigmatic but as far as exploring the ultimate depths of isolation may be the most striking. He first describes the Bodily Silence(corporate) of memories, phsyical sorrow and isolation to another more complete silence that is cut off from all existence, in other worlds an afterlife or spirit world devoid of everything! That terror really cries out to God for salvation and one that seems to haunt Poe and rival his faith and hope. After all, if this here and now is bereft and uncertain, how can the poet be sure of the promises beyond the grave? In such cases he wants to be alone- free from the oppressive, perhaps limbo-like, unsaving tyranny of memory. On the other hand without his memory of happiness or connection with the Ideal even his miserable state of melancholy seems idyllic.
So when he seeed to write of his dead Virginia in real life he was desperately courting a series of females in fits of alternating despair and hope. He felt he had no soul mate or literary equal even among his many friends and was sure the public only appreciated some of his work. Desperate for acceptance he yet made many enemies by ruthless literary criticism of bad writing again becoming the tortured prophet very unhappy with his being set apart and tormented. THe mood is therefore very conflicted: proud, bitter, empassioned by melancholy(Dark Domanrticism), frightened and unresolved about death and one way or the other unsatified with his accomplishments and relationships. The feeling this engendered he often made the core effect of his art the existential horror underlying peoms and gothic tales.
This was also serendiptous with the Byron/Coleridge romantic poetry he sometimes emulates. He also wrote many other things relying on science, humor and wit. The poetic choice of muse came early and he states what was preeminent for him as artist(without mentioning personal experience) in essays on poetry such as "The Philosophy of Composition".
-- Anonymous, March 01, 2002