i need to know what Edgar Allan Poe's The Lake. To is about

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Can you pleases help me with Edgar Allan Poe's The Lake. To's meaning I need it tonight at like 9:00 P.M.

-- Anonymous, January 12, 2003


Thankfully a simple poem. Perhaps Poe's own response to an earlier poem about the same lake in Thomas Moore's "A Ballad: The Lake of the Dismal Swamp" 1803. There is a legend of drowned lovers in that lake. Poe did wander around the rocky shores of the James River and this area at that time. Lake Drummond near Norfolk, Va. There are two significant versions, the original(1827) and the mature reowrked version repltete with thmemes perfected in later poems and addressed to a unknown person. You have the Romantic mood of Byron exemplified of finding inspiration in beauty and nature beyond the mere picturesque but in grander darker and melancholy strains. That last is Poe though, to move so chillingly from wonder to an undefined mix of horror that is nonetheless a comfort becuase it matches the undying and central inspiration of his solitary soul. Infant spirit- see "Alone" for the primal poetic vision of Poe. Gone is the legend of the lovers finding refuge there. It is Poe's soul instead that merges and in the imagination makes an Eden(ethereal haven as in "The Raven" for lenore)of that dim lake.

The dim lake is perhaps a reference to Moores' description of Patrick's Purgatory since this is Poe's common theme of finding a strong an fixed inspiration in the middle realm between real and the imagined, life and death, past and future, where all his artisitc endeavors are forged and need not or cannot reach beyond.

The second version clarifies it beyond the simple adolescent impression into four progressive stanzas, moving from picturesque setting to lonely terror to definition of that terror as a sense of delighted awe to finality of his communion with his vision. Interestingly this is greater than the Love of even one to whom the poemis addressed, by far one of the strongets and most plain statements of the strength of Poe's faithfulness to his particular vision and Muse.

-- Anonymous, January 13, 2003

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