Sonnet-Silence, by E.A.Poe : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

If it is not a big problem for you, could you please explane me one of the sonnet of E.A.Poe "Sonnet - Silence" ! Thank you!

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2003


A peculiar apprehension of a pregnant stillness, a motion arrested or without cause, a potential energy locked away on the verge of collapse, a stopped heart, a breath inheld, a moment of the highest awe and terror where life stands frozen on the borders of death... it is hard to define this feeling that appears in Poe so often. In particular it appears in a sory "Silence- A Fable" with echos of "The Valley of Unrest" and "The City Beneath the Sea" but also in "The Tell-Tale Heart" and crossing over to many of the poems where land meets the shore symbolically(the conjunction of all realities and death). The nameless elf harkens back to the daemon in "Alone" and other powerful revelations. "Silence is the voice of God" from "Al Araaf". The natural silence can be overcast by the spiritual shadow(THe Raven El Dorado).

Two sonnets by Thomas Hood, worked together by Poe.(Soonets "Silence" "Death").

So we have duality and symmetry which is also common to Poe. The three parts of a sonnet are divided thus: Stanza one- the incorporate things with a dual life. stanza two- the quality of Silence is described as a body(dead) and at rest which is no cause for fear and is controlled by memory and lore(see first stanza of The Raven). He is even named which another magic control "NoMore."Third Stanza- redefines this first corporal Silence with an exhortation and explanation that no fear and nor evil reside in that grave. Then midway it switches fast with a "But should you meet" with great similarities to "El Dorado" the shadow of that "body" with no name but with potential in a place no living foot has trod---- it's all over.

So poe devotes most of the time to the harmless and poetically controlled argument of the corporate Silence. Its evil twin is abruptly warned against at the end. A more orderly Shakespearian sonnet has a three part structure progressing to the final summation. couplet. For Poe it is a brutal duality. For all the time spent on the harmless Silence of corporal death and ritual mourning, the reemergence of the twin(his own soul's encounter with death)brackets the melancholy rhetoric with a note of terror. No memory or consolation can control this absolute silence of the self, only God.

This is the duality of Poe the poet who knew and spent most of his life at the symbolic shore where death happened to others and saddened himself, but also brought him up against his own mortality. This is his living experience of twofold death and silence, plunging almost with vertigo from tragedies of others into his own.(The Raven etc.)

-- Anonymous, May 14, 2003

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