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could someone give me an analysis on the poem 'Alone'. What is it reaally about and what are the hidden meaning to it??
-- Anonymous, March 01, 2003
This is a young Poe looking back even farther to a visionary moment when his poetic identity came to him while observing nature. The moment is allowed to speak in its pre-verbal power by the last panaoramic sweep to the lone cloud marring the blue sky. The "demon in my view" is nearly a Muse, the daemon meant not as a devil, but as a neutral spirit or force of nature. It seems to represent Poe himself symbolically but it is led up to as a uniquely personal vision "have not seen as others saw". The poem was originally untitled but the power of them and the pronouncement in breathless isolation midway in the poem makes "Alone" fitting. Poe does not hide so much as make us feel the pure complex emotion through some vagueness and elimination of flowery embellishment.In fact, this poem removes him from human society, then passes over spectacular nature without stopping until he hits the stark contrast of the single cloud. In style and content it is a metrical and stark improvement upon Byron(Manfred II,ii,50-56, The prisoner of Chillon X, 44-49) in that Poe springboards to his own unique and authentic experience. It was once a doubtful poem because it only existed in a personal album of Lucy Holmes in holograph.
First the sweep of time panorama of apartness, the first from statements in brilliant runover sentences, the final emotional climax presenting an awesome mix of melancholy and grandeur that one feels moved to pity, identification, and a vast silent period descends. The alliteration also interlocks and all these things interlocked in contrast end with the complete phrase alliterating on its own "and all I lov'd, I lov'd alone."
Then starts the second part, leaving the generalization of his past life to the description of a moment, the "Then" statement, firmly fixed in life period and place in retrospect a beginning of all. More interlocking, ovrerlapping verses creating a second movement using many "from" statements and grandscale natural snapshots. More giddy and grand imagery than alliteration. It ends, not excluding what he had seen but adding the interpretative and climactic smallness, the discordant form of the discordant small blotch in the sky in the final "And" statement.
So the first section relies on romantic sentiment taken from life and self-discovery related to others. Then a plainly visceral, non-reflective visual communion in motion allows sight to speak if we have taken the spirit from the original reflection, the "alone" section to heart ourselves. This poem is another Poe tour de force, another parallel one-two punch that we experience very often without seeing how he is doing it. Starkly absent is philosophy, self-pity, self-aggrandizing(in fact the last contrast is more honest than bragging)and the purer form of Romanticism is thus allowed to shine through in its most innocent origin- the senstive soul of the poet set part(in wonder and dismay). Baudelaire has a similar poem more anguished and brutal, angel's and mother cursing the day a poet was born, expressing the same beauty and sorrow, the same unwilled fate and similar mixed reaction.
-- Anonymous, March 01, 2003