Need explanation of A DREAM with literary techniques used : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I am looking for any information on A Dream by Poe. Very important, I am completely lost as of right now!!!! Thanks

-- Anonymous, November 07, 2002


This is an early poem of Poe's which may refer to the death of boyhood mentor Mrs. Jane Stanard("To Helen") and his broken courtship of Elmira Royster. Typical of the early Byron influence on Poe. "I would I were a Careless Child" 21-24: "Once I beheld a spledid dream,/A visionary scene of bliss!/Truth!- wherefore did thy hated beam/Awake me to a world like this?" Also an admired poetess Letitia Landon: The Troubadour I, 138-141: He dreams a dream of life and light,/And grasps the rainbow that appears/Afar all beautiful and bright,/And finds it only form'd of tears."

A variation of the common fuite du temps(times lost) theme of romantic poetry. Now for Poe's particlar expression of the above. His night visions dram of past joys. So memory preserves happiness without form. But at night the mind is tricked and a master of such artful joy. Awake, looking back on the past in an undeniable unsatisfactory reality creates pain, isolation and alienation from reality. Yet, defiantly in that pain he defends that "waking dream". this is stronger than Byron or Landon. He despairs of the world or his place in it, not of his vision cast onto a lost past.

Sonnet length with a gentle rhythmic melancholy and alternating musical rhyme. Four stanzas" statement containing a fact and contrasting contradiction(opposition of the present reality) then rhetorical question to challenge the contradtion. Repeat of this in next two stanzas. The first two stanzas state the conflict, the last two defiantly affirm his response and fidelity to the dream. Very, very neat and well structured in parallels. see other Poe poems containing dreams in title or text, stories or essays(

The reader's difficulty is in obvious recognition of the depth and subtlety of the deceptively simple lyric. The "waking dream" that will NOT dissolve, cannot deceive or totally comfort is what Poe is defending. This is fundamentally more than sweet memory or dreamland comfort, more personally "religious" in nature but not in any outside context of established religion or traditional societal responses.

Royster, Stanard, Virgina Poe, his mother... all these losses you may note are here transcended into an ideal of love that remains, all unified into an increasingly non-personifed "Beatrice" Muse. That is why the literal naming of these actual losses is rare in Poe.

-- Anonymous, November 08, 2002

As I commented in a previous answer to the same question, I think you will grasp many hints from your complete reading of Poe's first little 1827-volume "Tamerlane and other Poems" (available on line at wherein "A Dream" appeared for the first time, without title, and with an additional introducing stanza. Note, too, the very common quotation from Aristotle: "Hope is a waking dream". As suggested by Mr Murphy, try to dig into many other texts from Poe's works; here perhaps a good one for your research: "Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night" (in "Eleonora" -- 1841). About the literary technique used here, Mr Murphy gave you the essential. Perhaps may we wonder about the possible rethorical unskillness/ambiguity of the apostrophic "That holy dream!"... Is it the waking dream which has left the heart broken? or the night-dream of joy departed? We can catch the intended meaning from the whole, but there may subsist some confusion from the mere formulation. Poe, for sure, was at his very beginning, but he did not revised it in his later version of 1845. I probably err, for I must concede I am certainly the least one to speak of these matters, with my own shamefully poor English..! Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2002

death- smobody shoot my self. ex lover. did not let me sllep well

-- Anonymous, January 22, 2003

have a dream last night and I'm trying to tell you how its happened to give me an explanation.....I was stand near a cemetery gate,and I saw a with coffin handling an proper with some people,and I thought that in the coffin there is a child,the people that was caring the coffin put the coffin in the cemetery and they go home,I was there alone with the security of the cemetery and we hair some noise from the coffin and I ask the security what it is this strange noise from the coffin,he tell me that this is natural died people do this when is in the coffin to find the peace,but I insist that this strange noises is not normal,but the security still insist that this is normal and I tell him that I was afraid and I go home.

-- Anonymous, February 03, 2003

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