Help! Poe - Valley of Unrest Explication : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Help! I need to write a three page explication of "The Valley of Unrest" by Poe, can't figure out what it means, style used, symbolism, form etc. and can find very little information.

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2002


A fine example of Poe's imaginary landscape poetry, companion in this regard to "The City in the Sea". This poem was began in 1831 and went through considerable revision into deliberate vague suggestiveness that removed the earlier clear allusions(Yeats did a lot of this mature paring down). The landscape is based on a Poe journey in 1815 with the Allans through the Hebrides, clearly depicted throughout the poem though through the awed and distorted filter of childhood. To better appreciate this go to where the variants are grouped "The Valley of Nis" is the earlier poem. The title word Nis was dropped perhaps because it WAS a mistaken allusion of a misheard sound, perhaps of the Scottish word "innis"(island). Actual island legends are alluded to. Shelley's poem sensitive plant was a profound influence early on, the same sympathetic symbiosis one sees in The Fall of the House of Usher.("The Haunted Valley" poem within that story has some great similarity in theme and color). The story element has been removed in the 1845 version for concentration on the scene and mood. The windless restless motion is the breakthrough of spiritual forces into nature "Silence- A Fable" See "Fairyland" and "The Sleeper" as well. When you see Poe doing similar things in different works you will better appreciate this particular work. My source and the source of more info is Thomas Mannot's book on Poe's complete poems. Simply put, various tragedies, outcasts, exiles, broken hearts have seeped into the valley and create a spirit of perpetual unrest. This is a romantic poem of moving melancholy set in a place faraway in space and time, whicvh Poe deemed ideal for the subject matter, a greater sense of the lost, the distant, the fantastic and fitting for the pure feelings of the imagination rather than what the contemplation of a real landscape might inspire. In the older fashion, one contemplates the place, abstracts on its history and its beauty. In Poe, these elements are all wedded into a single dream not so much for the message but the emotion, a classic example of art for art's sake which Poe championed.

-- Anonymous, April 24, 2002

Thomas Mabbot, darn the typos!

-- Anonymous, April 25, 2002

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