Sonnet Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's- Sonnet- To My Mother : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread


I have to do this Sonnet Analysis. I do not know how to do this. This has to be 4+ pages. I am dreading on starting it. I need help!!! thanks,

-- Anonymous, June 07, 2003


Check Poe's other sonnets or sonnet length works and the biographical background. This poem is ostensibly a personal adress to his mother in law, a mutual mourning for Virginia that binds them together. Again, it is not Maria Clemm, but her relation is mediated by Virginia- and more in death than the happy femily life they led before. Mrs. Clemm herslf was somewhat less the ideal of overwhelming devotion for Poe that the words suggest. It starts out rather formulaic and with typical conceit using "angels" but it swiftly and brilliantly connects with negatives inverted, somewhat disturbingly. I mean what mother likes to know that "Death"(first version) has "installed" her bringing in echoes of "the City in the Sea" and other lugubrious melancholy glories.

well, the poem "Because" section of four lines gives the argument of premier devotion for the name "Mother" "therefore" the next four lines Poe gives the reasons for honoring mrs. Clemm. Her position as mother in the little family(Poe, fond of giving nicknames, called Virginia "Sissy". She is more, she fills the vaccuum created by Virginia's death. Now the thrid section is more argument justification in replacing the mother he never knew who was ONLY the mother of him, with the mother of the one he loved most dearly.The closing emphasis shows total replacement of his true mother AND himself with Mrs. Clemm and Virginia. Sounds more like the obsessive story "Ligeia" than a praise of motherhood.

No imagery in the poem. Some sound like angels singing ("whispering" in the first version). Use of time and tense, argument and ingeious swithing and a conceit made up entirely of his transforming devotion to Virginia. In fact,the somber self-inflicting of the first version upon its later publication was a bit cleaned up and more conventional. God replaces death. On the other hand we have acceptance of her death in the second version "mother to the dead I voved so dearly" rather than "mother to the one". This may be nothing more than better poetic sound but it seems in all a calmer tone than the early work that must have been writtien in the first bonds of mutual sorrow and dependence. Precious replaces a repetition of dear. They final two lines and that "dear" are intact.

I think both versions can be found at Given the three part- then ending couplet- Shakespearean structure, Poe's touch may be in the solemn repetitions of you, dear, mother. My Virginia, my wife seems also asignificant way of expressing his relation to Virginia. Possessive but greater than his own soul. "Ligeia" "Annabel Lee" at that time seem to deal with this lingering devotion and its sometimes disturbing force.

-- Anonymous, June 09, 2003

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