explication of alone

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can anyone give me an explication of poe's "alone?" the meaning behind it literary devices used in it, etc. thanks.

-- Anonymous, January 19, 2003


Echos of Byron(Manfred, II,ii,50-56 and "The prisoner of Chillon" X,44-49 about the loner set apart and then the cloud conceit). This is a rare personal poem of his own formative childhood. 22 lines all rhyming couplets, an inexorable rhythm. The first 8klines describe his status among other people in two "From" sections emphasizing he has never changed. The verses are overlapping until the last line from which closing power we commonly take the titile of this unnamed poem. The next section focuses on one scene from this past that is nothing less(and little more in the childhood pre-verbal awe) than the experience of a vision. Without argument the conjunction of the rolling scenery moves to the solitary cloud. Even without lines 10-12 we would see the connection of this revelatory vision(nature mirroring himself) as a child becoming thrillingly and chillingly aware. "The mystery which binds me still" howver emphasizes the lasting power of this bond between the realization of his place and the rest of the world. The "demon" is Poe's own self Muse, his ruling spirit and the source of all his poetic ideals. It is not glory or love but that place, sad, isolated or stormy as it might be, that has joined with his heart. He makes this affirmation in other poems("The Lake") but often we lose sight of what Poe keeps telling us when he includes aspects of love and othe aspirations. The from statements are brilliant in defining the two sections, the first part of the poem emphasizing the origins and constant aspect of his different nature, the second a panoramic sweep of the first discovery of himself in a living metaphor of nature showing from where comes the mystery and what it is, without philosophy or finality.

Very different from "I wandered lonely as a cloud" by Wordsworth. it is not just a metaphor or conceit but an actual vision, all the details totally part of himself and his perception.

-- Anonymous, January 20, 2003

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