analyzing "Sleeper" and imitating "The Philosophy of Composition"greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
I need to create my own "Philosophy of composition", except I need to explain Poe's "Sleepless" instead of "The Raven". Any ideas?
-- Anonymous, October 15, 2002
Poe may not have been telling the whole truth when he spoke of HOW he wrote the Raven and what it "means", a clear definition being something his stories by their nature avoid as crudely limiting. So it might be fair play to do the same. "Irene" however is a bit harder because it was first written in 1831 and went through more and deeper revisions than "The Raven." Read all the versions at www.eapoe.org. "in the higher qualities of poetry, it is better than 'The Raven'' Poe wrote though he knew very very few would agree. So what are the higher qualities as opposed to the popular or more clearly focused story line of the "The Raven"? Certtainly the ideal theme(for Poe) of the melancholy death of a beatiful woman, here held in suspension away from and examined minutely in its tension rather than the remoteness of the grieving narrator. Here the poet is less personally involved and able to concentrate of the effetc and feeling in itself and for the sleeper. An irony since there is less decription or care about the personage of Annabel Lee, Lenore or other persoanlly lost loves. The book by Thomas Ollive Mabbott on Poe's poetry is excellent for your project and though brief I cannot put it all here for you. Mabbott especially puts the creative and historic process in detailed perspective. Point of view, choice of subject and progessive steps in devleopment might seem disingenuous and crude for such a sensitive creation, yet Poe was that contradiction, a passionate technician, caring for the art and its power more than the mere object(or characters real or imaginary) of his poem. the physical tragedy
-- Anonymous, October 17, 2002