Whats the interpretation of Poe's ''The Lake''?

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I need to know what is the meaning of Poe's ''The Lake'' [ like whats it about and what is he trying to tell about , please hurry i need it very sooon! ,thanx!].

-- Anonymous, June 10, 2003


Simply it is a reflection inspired by an actaul visit to a lake with a particular atmosphere and ghostly history. But that is kept typically vague, the legend(as in "The Valley of Unrest") undetailed and only for mood. The rest is a profound declaration of what is at the core of his poetic experience and what it means to him. At www.eapoe.org read the old and then last revision. Upon much later reflection and a lifetime of experience, he maturely rates this vision as more crucial, more central to his being than any prize or love. That makes this a key work to understanding Poe's committment to his Muse experience, whereas reading some of his poems about beloved women leave us with another popular impression. 1827 and 1845

It seems to refer to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp near Norfolk, Va. that Thomas Moore visited and wrote about in 1803(always good to compare Poe to his predecessor when Poe sees something different to argue about). Moore encompasses the legend in detail where a bereaved lover follows his dead lady into the lake, which is forever then gently haunted. Poe's conceit therefore would be to match the delusion of the lover seeing his lost love in the heaven of those still waters.

First stanza: spring of youth, true and symbolic time contrasted to the unlikely attraction"so lovely was the loneliness" and the hemmed in rough and wild darkness of the tall pine rimmed lake. Scene and time set, as Poe does in other vision poems "Alone".

Second stanza: But comes a change in light and sound, a movement, a darknening and a murmur, "awakes" him to the terror of the lone lake. Night throws her pall- personification to emphasize ghostly sense of visitation so he no longer is just a spectator.

Third: "Yet" Contact has been made! Expanded importantly from his youthful first version comes the reaction, the counter to the diturbance. terror becomes delight that nothing can bribe him to define. "Nor Love" and this is addressed seenibgly to a woman close to him. The power and thrill of the experience for the Romantic Poe must always be to the fore in getting to the core of his works although it is ineffable and contradictory to us(terror- delight)a poetic religious experience.

Fourth: Right after lessening love a strong counerpoint affirming the terror of "Death" where such a gravelike place could be paradise in his loneliness, because here, not in impossible breaching of the real heaven, Poe is touched by the other world and sink his soul within.

That sacrament of possibility, the real sight and sound mingled with its contained symbolism and legend awaken poetry in his soul. Poe will often come to the border of land and water, look to the waves to sky and drink in a mystery through this mediation, no matter what loneliness or unhappiness afflicts him or what loss and despair. "A Dream within a Dream" and "Annabel Lee"

The poetry is superbly beautiful, musical and moody. As usual there is an irregular part, the third stanze short but with a triple rhyme for emphasis to the one being addressed(typical of the other two poemsI just mentioned). Lots of assonance, onomatopaeia and echoing though the actual verses are brief, logically rhetorical for form and dimly described. "An Eden of that dim lake." A wonderful beautiful line containing also the Romantic dissonance of the shadowy with the perfect.

-- Anonymous, June 11, 2003

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