what were poe's common themes and style in his poetry?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

i am struggling with a paper on edgar allan poe and would really like some help so if anyone can help me please do. here is the assignment: study a poet in depth in order to find out what has influenced this writer and what "common threads" are noticed throuhgout this poet's work. most of the emphasis should be on the "common threads" throughout the work. influence may be the biographical information that has helped to develop the threads. thanks

-- Anonymous, March 23, 2003


Poe's poetic vision, where he draws the highest values since the beginning is based on his experience of apartness and loneliness ("Alone" "The Lake(both versions)") and the places that drew him most were shadowy, quiet and melancholy(The Valley of Nis, City in the Sea). Underlying that place of spiritual depth satisfying beyond all else life had to offer is a sense of unease, awe, ever horror, of the boundaries of mystery and death.

A second thread is the female image, the ideal or dead love to which he moves, returns or keeps in heart through all his life of troubles. "To Helen" recognizes this influence connected with the patronage of Mrs. Stanard for his artistic development, Elmira Royster for his love life. Other loves, deaths, losses including of course the death of his mother and stepmother and wife reinforced this Muse experience even more. All the poems with the woman(usually dead)fall under this (The Raven, Lenore(all its versions), Annabel Lee, Ulalume). Poems written to specific living woman carry this idealized need for the Muse goddess figure to fulfill his real needs(the second "To Helen" Mrs. Whitman).

Joined together they are a single poetic vision or Muse, seeking happiness in this life between dead memories and the unknown beyond death, within the unrequited melancholy of the lingering nexus. The dead are not dead, the hope not clearly seen or absolutely evidenced, the memories gone and ghostl. This value does not satisfy, is not free from doubt and oppressive in the lingering, unresolved issues that no longer supply the old happiness. Go tpo his entire output at www.eapoe.org. Excluding the long poems like "Tamerlane" follow by date this relatively small body ofwork and compare to his life. Actually, despite the tour de force of imagination you may easily find the same themes, tone and unique, relentless stamp of Poe's Muse in each one. Few Romantic poets are this easy, or brief, or this focussed and profound. His stories as well.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2003

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