theme of "The Dream" : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

well, my assignment has been dued since a while back, but i would like to know what was the theme to Poe's poem, "The Dream". i've tried analyzing it, but im kinda slow, so yeap, =D i was just curious.

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2003


Seems to refer to a time of great personal loss(death of Mrs. Stanard "To Helen", loss of Elmira Royser, departure from the Allan's) See Byron "I would I were a carelss child" lines 21-24. There is a back and forth between the "dream" at night and carrying the burden of memory during the day. The short, sonnet length poem has two parts, each ending with a rhetorical question. The first stanza sets the occurrence. Dreaming of joy departed has some sorrow but the memory wounds him deeply by day. The "waking dream" ("A Dream within a Dream")is is memory of loss in the contrast of life and light. The day seems the dream he would wake from but the past though he longs to "wake" to it- is gone.

the "dream by day" second stanza argues rhetorically that such an inner vision is just a dream haunting the waking life with at at least "a ray/ turned back upon the past?" As in "To Helen" the next two stanzas value this as an ideal a "holy dream" guiding his lonely spirit. He ends by a rhetorical image of a beacon light wavering through the obstructions of storm. Though small and beset it is "Truth's Daystar". Truth's Venus or goddess of love, in later poems the mind and soul(Psyche) with love(Eros) and body. Several other poems about such star imagery.

For Poe the pure light of a lonely small star, in fact more brilliant for its size than the moon other poets praised, symbolizes himself, his distance and rapport with the ideal lost in the past and dreams and daydreams. That the truth is, as in many other poems, that blessed memory of happiness is worth more than anything else including present reality. See his loyalty to his Muse above all else in "The Lake". The talk of storms and sorrows of course has to do with the setbacks noted abobe.

-- Anonymous, March 31, 2003

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