A Dream Within A Dream; Published?

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When the was the poem "A Dream Within A Dream" written and published? Any info on Edgars state of mind or life when it was written?

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2002


AN early form of this poem was written in 1829(Should my early life seem) which in turn borrorws from "Imitation"(1827) but the development is drastic and very different from the mature poem of 1849. This manuscript was sent to Annie Richmond to whom it seems addressed, and titled in some copies though Poe may have wished Elmira Shelton to have taken it for her. At that crazy time Poe was trying to court various laies- fruitlessly, as he died that year.

The literary, reflective influences are from his own earlier poems that seem fittingly added to essay and marginalia about dream themes,such as the quote from Novalis "we are near waking when we dream that we dream" in "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains." The phrase appears in other contemporary writers Poe reviewed.

The personal influences at this end of his life are chaotic, but related to his early poetic vison engendered in part by a dream experience it reflects the elusive but oppressively haunting presence of memory, dream and future hope. The exact moment of the physical present as he experiences on the shore is ongoing loss before the pitiless wave. The extra rhyme line with repeated phrase "while I weep, while I weep" seems to interject the strength of his personal feeling.

Information from Thomas Mabbott's book on Poe's poetry. Texts and variants of the poems available at www.eapoe.org.

-- Anonymous, April 27, 2002

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