Poes life in relation to his Writting

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Could someone please tell me how Poe's life is showed or expressed in his poems, "Annabelle Lee", "To Helen", and "A Dream Within a Dream". Explain how his life relates to these poems or what inspired them from his life.

-- Anonymous, April 01, 2003


What they have in common is that in a difficult and "stormy" life of transitory and mortal happiness there is something that guides him and gives him hope and life.

To understand what that is let's go chronologically. "To Helen" dates from his earliest awareness of his life's focus. Mrs. Stanard was very instrumental and inspirational for the young Poe developing his natural talents. The first version has "Helen" holding a little scroll. In the second more idealized Helen is glowing and holding an agate lamp. This loss has become a source of profound and anchoring dedication and hope.

After a lifetime of disappointments, even in making his living as a writer the tone of that blessed theme becomes defiant, bitter, even despairing, the losses less easily idealized, especially after the death of Virginia.

The doubt is apparent in a poem possibly addressed to Annie Richmond where the loss of all the accumulated dreams of his youth onwards weigh too heavily for that future or distant ideal. He questions the shore, the line between his journey and the future and wonders if it is all just relentlessly shifting sand.

The death of Virginia, disappointments in new courtships make up the background of Annabel Lee. Defiantly (many and many a year ago) and persistently empassioned the poet is fixed where he knows himself to be, not in the future, but by the tomb on the boundary shore.

But remember, at this time Poe IS seeking a new start in life and still finding his life's wellspring in the kind of poetry he had written from the start, finding beauty in that dark between where others cannot.

-- Anonymous, April 03, 2003

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