Interpretations on the poem "A Dream Within a Dream" : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I have a paper to write on Poe's poem "A Dream Within a Dream", and i need to annalyze it. so i need ur help to annalyze and give me an overview of what the poem is about. ive read it about 10 times and some things are still confusing. i need basically and interpretation of what its about. i need u to email me as soon as possible thanx so much.

-- Anonymous, October 02, 2003


You are totally right when reading and reading and reading again so many times this remarkable poem, because its manner, its form, does perfectly suggest and restitute the "uncertain", the "unfixed", the "sweeping", the "escaping" -- the main subject of these lines. Nevertheless, its meaning becomes more evident, but far less effective and "mystic", if you discover it in its former form, as verse XXIV (last)of the 1831 version of "Tamerlane" (you can read it on line integrally at , among "Poems" in Poe's "Works"). Moreover, on this site, you will see that there are two earlier partial versions of this poem (1827 "Imitation", and 1829 "To --")which may, too, lead you in your research.

Note that the 1831 version is told by dying Tamerlane, when desperately summarizing his poor life and love as a conqueror, and that Poe formulated this definitive version (with its enigmatical assertion becoming eventually a question) when he felt himself Death's breath nearer and nearer... It may,I think, be received as some intellectual, philosophical testament. A kind of deep humility before (de)parting.

And You probably may yourself take many messages and hints from it. For that is Poe's own unfolded admirable genius: never to precise and always to suggest, in order to offer the reader an active role in the reception of any (literary) art-work.

Hoping these hasty words somewhat helpful for your paper, Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium).

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2003

Keep at the details. Like some other poets Poe uses an address to some particular person to present his poem- lover? female acquaintance such as Sarah Helen Whitman? The seaside location might suggest Whitman.

"In parting from you now". Poe has done this before, using a sweep of place and time "Alone" and parallel structures of course, the signature extra rhyme line for emphasis of emotion. Rhetorical and philosophical(emotional Romantic style) it starts as an agreement and deeper reflection on some comment of the lady addressed. "Kiss on the brow" is a solemn form. "My waking life has been a dream". In the sense that it passes and vanishes into nothingness so that the past no longer exists. After the argument presentation, the poet moves away to the shore facing the sea("Annabel Lee")for symbolic illustration AND note of rebellious anguish. The symbolism is less and more than allegory.

Note the stanza and rhyme schemes even if adapted from earlier versions. Read other dream poems, regrets of times lost themes, seashore and sea imagery.

-- Anonymous, October 06, 2003

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