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Passions in Poetry

On "Alone," by Edgar Allan Poe

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Michael
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0 posted 08-29-2004 04:30 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

On, “Alone,” by Edgar Allan Poe.


I think it was Brian, (Local parasite), who replied in one of my poems that he usually didn’t like “reflective” poetry.  This was something I pondered for a long while but never really understood.  Everything I have ever written has been reflective in one way or another.  To me, that’s what poetry is – what poetry is meant for.


The poem Alone by Edgar Allan Poe, was my introduction to poetry, literally.  I can remember my sophomore year in high school my teacher decided to review Poe’s work for the one week she had to devote to poetry.  She started with “The Raven ” naturally and I nearly napped all the way through that.  All I derived of Poe that day was that he was an overly anal perfectionist… I just could not get interested.  In truth, the poem was just to far over my head at the time, I grew to love it in time as I could see deeper beneath the surface.


The poem she decided to review the next day, however, changed my life.  It was “Alone.”  I found it to be earth shattering.  It was as if this man who lived a century and a half before me had stared into my soul and laid it out on paper.   I felt exposed as I sit there in class shaking with tears streaming down my face.  This poem was not only “reflective” of my early life, but also revealed to me that poetry was/is a sharing of emotion.  I took up writing after that, attempting my first poem, “Lightning,” later that afternoon when I got home.  The lightning I was writing about being derived from the lines in Poe’s poem:

From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by.



To me, Poe was speaking of love here.  More specifically, first love, where time spent with that special someone seems to fly, but when it’s over leaves the moment eternally branded in you mind.  Having been similarly struck by nearly all the lines in Poe’s poem, I ventured to write Walking Alone a few years later, where I tried to answer some of Poe’s lines directly:

I, too, was awed by lightning's flash,
Embering in mind even after the crash.



Though I think Poe’s overall message in this poem can be summed up in the simplicity of his title, I would venture to say the sum isn’t always greater than the parts.  Poe’s life was a soap opera of failed loves and chemical dependency but deep beneath the surface there was always a nagging sensation of not belonging or fitting in to bring him to those points.  

And all I’ve lov’d— I lov’d alone—

One, being the staunch perfectionist he was, he could never come to terms with.

The mystery which binds me still—

Combine this with his profound need to not just belong, but to have impact and you will land at the center of his crisis.


The way Poe ends this poem has always fascinated me.  

From the thunder, and the storm--
And the cloud that took the form
(When all the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.


One might derive the thunder as being his own inner turmoil, and the storm being the effect it is having on his life.  The rest of heaven being blue speaks to me of all being fine around him though definitely not with him.  The demon is the tricky part.  The way it is written, I see Poe trying to blame a higher power, one almost mocking him, for the misery and isolation in his life, which he may very well be able to justify to himself with uncontrollable circumstances surrounding the loves lost within his life.  However, I cannot help but see Poe looking in the mirror as he wrote those final words.  There is just that much of a feeling of self-loathing I get from reading this poem.

Marge Tindal
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1 posted 08-29-2004 06:27 PM       View Profile for Marge Tindal   Email Marge Tindal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Marge Tindal's Home Page   View IP for Marge Tindal

Michael~
Thank you for this ...~
You showed me a new appreciation for this piece of Poe ... and MUCH admiration for your ~Walking Alone~
*Huglets*
~*Marge*~

~*When the heart grieves over what it has lost,
the spirit rejoices over what it has left.
- Sufi epigram <))><

Email noles1@totcon.com

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2 posted 08-29-2004 06:34 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Ah, Michael has come home!

My dear young friend, reflective poetry cannot be written by the young.  Just as you did not understand Poe in your youth, it was later and with a different poem that you found not only his chord, but yours.

You brought to me a poem I have not read, with Poe, and a poem of yours I had not yet seen...which was a tribute to Poe's time, and yet...your time as well.

I am still a novice, Michael, in learning how to read poetry, how to interpret poetry [sometimes I don't even know where my attempts come from, but they come, regardless] and I must say, when I read Poe's "Alone" I went through it three times, and felt the poem for its worth.  But your poem, Michael, moved me to tears.

I read Poe's again, to capture that essence that your brought forward with your poem.  It is not there.

I will go back again on a different day, to try and see what you saw, in his.

I do know what you are speaking to, however; how a poem leaps out at us.  I have a favorite author - everything I have ever read of his makes me feel as if I am in the same room, listening to him; an encounter I have yet to experience, except by record.

I'm so glad you opened this door.
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3 posted 08-29-2004 10:39 PM       View Profile for muted   Email muted   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for muted

I had never read this poem before, until you guys decided to post about it. First i like to say that Michael has written a dynamite poem in response to "Alone". Both poems cut emotion to the bone.

while reading "Alone" i got a sense of abandoment. He speaks of childhood, and of not really having the same perspective as other people:
"From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were - I have not seen
As others saw - I could not bring
My passions from a common spring -
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow - I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone -"

a child that is mistreated,abandoned, or neglected often feels "different" from others. Often they have to grow up fast and therefore take on alot of adult type issues at an early age....

"And all I lov'd - I lov'd alone -"--- this line certainly reads as if one has been left, abandoned, ignored.

"Then - in my childhood - in the dawn
Of a most stormy life - was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still -"---this reads to me as if somebody "saved' him or tried to keep him alive? sort of like when people question why does anyone bother saving me? just let me go..type of thing. the "mystery" of why in the world am i here at all.

"From the torrent, or the fountain -
From the red cliff of the mountain -
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold -
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by -
From the thunder, and the storm -"---feel he is describing his own nature or human nature in general...whether something is forceful and plentiful or trickling or stark and vast...and the passing of time marked by the sun here..

"From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by -"-----i see this as more of "ephinany" passing Poe by, he still has yet to discover why he exists...why he is kept alive, the "why me?" has never been answered for him

"And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view -"------maybe he sees that everyone else lives just fine, can find happiness....but he himself cant see past his own gloom.

"And the cloud that took the form"---conveys to me that he still is unsure of what causes his suffering

i agree with michael that the demon may be Poe looking right at himself.
````````````````````````````````````````````````

all this said and done, im going on feeling here folks.
ihave not extensively studied Poe or his life..so im just going on what it makes me feel.


Local Parasite
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4 posted 08-30-2004 03:18 AM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

quote:
I think it was Brian, (Local parasite), who replied in one of my poems that he usually didn’t like “reflective” poetry.  


I looked that quote up actually.  What I said was that I love reflective poetry, I just don't tend to like the confessional aspect.  Of course all good poetry comes from reflection... otherwise it has no form.  Just thought I'd defend myself a little.

I tend to agree that there's a certain self-loathing in this poem.  Even the title, like you said, speaks a lot to what the poem implies:  Being "Alone" is a word that we associate for the most part with a negative state of solitude.  "Solitary" might have been more positive, "Sole," even something that would imply uniqueness---but I do agree this is more about an emotion than a state, more about a feeling that is had in that state of solitude than the state itself.

The language of the poem maintains that negative view of the subject, and for the most part implies that it's an involuntary state he's in that he somehow wishes he could not be in.

The early part of the poem uses negatives to describe the state, talking about what he could not do or see, or how he couldn't draw from the common spring.  It isn't until later that he begins to realize this inability allows him to see things that others cannot:

The "mystery that binds [him] still" is pretty easy for me to grasp.  In being alone he feels intrigued by a certain something that he feels close to seeing.  Though he cannot see things as others see them, I feel like he's implying he sees through these things.

That this "mystery" comes "from the depth of good and ill" again implies that what he sees isn't simply different, but deeper (or more true) than what others can see.  His being alone consists in his gift to see beneath the surface of things and identify their true natures---which is, I suppose, a poetic or interpretive attitude to have towards the universe.

I take this poem as being about the lonely aspect of poetic perspective.  The growth implied by a movement from negatives into positives (from the first half of the poem to the last half) allows us to understand the linear progression of his own coming-to-terms with this unique perspective of his.

The verse that presents some trouble, like Michael said, is this one:

quote:
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view -


As far as I'm concerned, this just goes hand-in-hand with the general mystery of this unique perspective.  Considering it's still past tense ("took" not "takes" the form), that he's still referring to "childhood's hour."  That "demon" is probably that same mystery---things that are unfamiliar are frightening to children, and this cloud at the center of a blue heaven that takes the form of a demon represents the fear involved in being overwhelmed by a great mystery.

The fact that he's "alone," especially as a child, amplifies the effect of this terror.  Personally I found that to be the most effective aspect of the poem... how he presents everything around him as having a terrifying depth, and how (because he's a child alone) he is left to deal with and interpret these bogey-men all on his own.
Michael
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5 posted 08-30-2004 11:01 AM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

Brian, no need to "defend" here.  I meant my statement not as an attack in any way.  Even so, I clearly just misunderstood your statement to begin with and thank you for the clarification.


quote:
The language of the poem maintains that negative view of the subject, and for the most part implies that it's an involuntary state he's in that he somehow wishes he could not be in.


I couldn't agree with you more on this point, btw.  "Involuntary" was the word I was searching for that somehow eluded me during my original post.


I wasn't sure how far I such take my original analysis, but allow me to elaborate one step further here.

Poe states:

From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow - I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone -


These are probably the lines that struck me the deepest when I first read the poem, though I did not understand why at the time as fully as I might now.

A few years after high school, I was diagnosed with rare chemical imbalance known as Dysthymia.  This, literally, is a form of depression that somewhat mimics manic depression on the low end of the scale, but never reaches the high end of the scale.  An "inability to feel joy accompanied by deep delvings into sorrow" is the actual definition I was given.

I cannot help but believe that Poe was suffering from something similar to this.  This would explain why everything he did was approached from the negative aspect Brian speaks of.  There was simply no positive for him.

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were - I have not seen
As others saw - I could not bring
My passions from a common spring -


There is a profound alertness here.  A child seeing things through the mind of an adult if you will, knowing others around him are happy but at the same time not knowing what happiness is.
Local Parasite
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6 posted 08-30-2004 11:30 AM       View Profile for Local Parasite   Email Local Parasite   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Local Parasite's Home Page   View IP for Local Parasite

I want to clarify.  When I said "negative" I meant that he was describing things by negation (what he couldn't do, what he didn't see), and not necessarily that what he was saying is negative in tone.  Although you do make a good point.

Poe definitely had a dark aspect to a lot of his writing, at least from what I read, and that very well might have been influenced by something to do with his health.  

On a side note, I was thinking of looking up some of his letters the next time I was at my school and sharing  a few points of interest with you all, if I could find any comments that he had made on the poem himself.  That might illuminate an understanding of it on our part.

Unfortunately, I'm going to be gone until Wednesday.  My significant other and I are going camping.  So until then I leave this discussion in the capable hands of my fellow PiPsters.  
Essorant
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7 posted 08-30-2004 11:36 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Interesting thoughts.

The speaker's condition early in life is made out as very uncommon and lonely compared to that others ideally experience.  But:

The "mystery which binds me still"

This seems to refer to a childish and natural wonder/imagination in life that may remain;  something that is more common and permanant constrasting a woeful human and individual condition.  


"Then - in my childhood - in the dawn
Of a most stormy life - was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still -"

Though childhood was "the dawn of a stormy life"  He yet may find, it seems, fresh and youthful spirit and feeling--the kind that a child has to cast away cares and enable one to enjoy life even after great sorrow.  He may refer to experiencing a better "youth" in an older age.  But dark feelings and experiences still influence and follow one's imagination and perspective ("the cloud that took the form...of a demon in my view")--in his view, he seems to see him as under a dark cloud, but able to see thro it and find lifespirit.
Therefore even though it has negative lines, it also seems to have some positive light midst it all.
Just some impressions; thanks for bringing this forth.
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8 posted 08-30-2004 04:08 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Alone
by Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were - I have not seen
As others saw - I could not bring
My passions from a common spring -
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow - I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone -
And all I lov'd - I lov'd alone -
Then - in my childhood - in the dawn
Of a most stormy life - was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still -
From the torrent, or the fountain -
From the red cliff of the mountain -
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold -
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by -
From the thunder, and the storm -
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view -

*  *  *

(And I just did that for my own benefit, folks.)

While I don't have anything new to add regarding interpretation, I do have questions regarding Poe's use of punctuation in this piece, specifically the dashes here.

smile.

After Kamla successfully convinced me that dashes were more effective than the ellipses in my own work, I was wondering if anyone else here could expound upon that.

I see instances in this where a comma might do to marry the ideas, but then is it a device of emphasis to use the dash in its stead?

I particularly like the use of it at the end, however, as it leads the reader to surmise a conclusion for themselves while it implies that there is indeed MORE.

So, any thoughts on the punctuation aspect of "Alone"?

*  *  *

And as an aside, I'd like to thank you, Michael for your presentation here, and Brian for the idea.

Smile. This poem was my second assignment for my literature portion of my daughter's homeschooling program, and the sound of her fingers happy typing is music to my ears.

This is great.



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9 posted 08-30-2004 08:35 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

quote:

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were - I have not seen
As others saw - I could not bring
My passions from a common spring –




These lines mean to me that he has never been part of any crowd..never followed what was considered the ‘norm’ for his time.

quote:

From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow - I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone -
And all I lov'd - I lov'd alone –




Again, while others found love or friendship with someone ‘normally’, Poe could not..he loved but it was unrequited..

quote:

Then - in my childhood - in the dawn
Of a most stormy life - was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still -
From the torrent, or the fountain -
From the red cliff of the mountain -
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold -
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass'd me flying by -
From the thunder, and the storm -
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view –




These lines read as one thought to me… his troubled life began in childhood and it all formed the personality that would later create his writing.  I feel everything added together (torrent, fountain, red cliff, sun, lightning, thunder) created the dark cloud that covered his life – that caused him to be always alone…the reason he drank and did drugs.
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10 posted 08-30-2004 11:50 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

On Dickinson's dash - which we have been reading and discussing in our Prairie Inkwells group...how tickled I am to share "that class" with you...

About Dickinson's Use of the Dash
quote:

Kamilla Denman

Unlike the exclamation mark, the dash that dominates the prolific period is a horizontal stroke, on the level of this world. It both reaches out and holds at bay. Its origins in ellipsis connect it semantically to planets and cycles (rather than linear time and sequential grammatical progression), as well as to silence and the unexpressed. But to dash is also "to strike with violence so as to break into fragments; to drive impetuously forth or out, cause to rush together; to affect or qualify with an element of a different strain thrown into it; to destroy, ruin, confound, bring to nothing, frustrate, spoil; to put down on paper, throw off, or sketch, with hasty and unpremeditated vigour; to draw a pen vigorously through writing so as to erase it; [is] used as a euphemism for 'damn,' or as a kind of verbal imprecation; [or is] one of the two signals (the other being the dot) which in various combinations make up the letters of the Morse alphabet." Dickinson uses the dash to fragment language and to cause unrelated words to rush together; she qualifies conventional language with her own different strains; and she confounds editorial attempts to reduce her "dashed off " jottings to a "final" version. Not only does she draw lines through her own drafts but also through the linguistic conventions of her society, and her challenges to God are euphemistic imprecations against conventional religion. Even the allusion to the Morse alphabet is not entirely irrelevant: through her unconventional use of punctuation, particularly the dash, Dickinson creates a poetry whose interpretation becomes a process of decoding the way each fragment signals meaning.

Dickinson's transition from a dominant use of the exclamation mark to a preference for the dash accompanied her shift from ejaculatory poems, which seem outcries aimed with considerable dramatic effect at God or others, to poems where the energies exist more in the relationships between words and between the poet and her words. In this intensely prolific period, Dickinson's excessive use of dashes has been interpreted variously as the result of great stress and intense emotion, as the indication of a mental breakdown, and as a mere idiosyncratic, female habit. Though these speculations are all subject to debate, it is clear that in the early 1860s Dickinson conducted her most intense exploration of language and used punctuation to disrupt conventional linguistic relations, whether in an attempt to express inexpressible psychological states or purely to vivify language.

From "Emily Dickinson’s Volcanic Punctuation." The Emily Dickinson Journal (1993).
http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/a_f/dickinson/dash.htm

Makes a person rethink his/her think on ellipses and dashes...


serenity blaze
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11 posted 08-31-2004 02:26 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

EXCELLENCE!

(pardon my gleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)

but yes, this is exactly along the lines and so much more response than I'd hoped for.

I exit, properly chuckled.



thanks Kari!
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12 posted 08-31-2004 03:30 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

and while I'm being persnickety? (I'll have you back in yer body momentarily, Ali, )

this?

"And all I lov'd - I lov'd alone -"

why not an "e" in those 'lov'd's? (It's the same in syllable and meter, WHY the exchange of e with apostrophe?)

things like that drive me nuts, but I figure I'd ask anyhow.

Thanks.


Sunshine
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13 posted 08-31-2004 08:43 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Hm.  Artistic design?  Temperament? Laziness?  LOL...I don't know!  Let's find out!
Ron
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14 posted 08-31-2004 01:30 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Smile. It's gratifying to see someone else notice Poe's unusual punctuation in this particular piece. I was going to wait to post, but can't help adding to Karen's questions.

This poem was penned circa 1829, when Poe was just twenty and prior to most of Poe's most dismal failures in life. (That's also a year before Emily Dickinson was born, Kari.) Poe wrote it into a friend's autograph book, and the poem otherwise remain unpublished until 1875, well after Poe's 1849 death. The structure of the poem, common to A Dream Within A Dream and many of his prose pieces, moves from a reflection on the past into a more focused point that brings the idea into a set moment.

You'll find other renditions of the poem replete with commas, but I'm told the original verse consisted of all those dashes, the pair of parenthesis, and one single period at the end of the closing line, "Of a demon in my view." Most strangely, the period was followed by yet another dash?

From a technical standpoint, a dash is typically thought to represent a longer pause than a comma, but usually not quite as long as an ellipsis. However, if we think of Poe's dashes not as pauses, but perhaps instead as continuation marks, we find his choice of punctuation is also reflected in the very unusual enjambment (another kind of continuation mark?) in the opening ten lines of the poem. And what of Poe's prodigious use of prepositions in this piece, something writers generally try to avoid? Since we can't end a sentence with a preposition, aren't they too continuation marks of a kind?

Was Poe's solitary period really the end of his theme? Or did the dash following the period signify yet another continuation?

Perhaps most interesting to me is the penultimate line. Not only is it placed parenthetically, which alone sets it apart, but it is also the one place where the acknowledged master of meter and cadence allows his words to stumble across the tongue. When a poet of Poe's caliber breaks meter, it's never an accident and usually directs our attention to something of greater importance. What is the significance of a sky that was, but apparently no longer is, blue? And how does it answer what seems to be the real question of the poem, what is "The mystery which binds me still?"

This, for me, is a difficult poem to analyze because, more so than most, we don't know the author's intent. It clearly wasn't meant for wide publication, else Poe would have included the poem in subsequently published collections. Was it something he dashed off in ten minutes and its resonance with so many others since is merely reflective of his genius? Was Poe's mysterious mystery that bound him still something his friend, for whom the poem was apparently written, immediately understood? Or did Poe carefully hone the poem with his usual subtleties and hidden meanings?


serenity blaze
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15 posted 08-31-2004 06:36 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Wow.

Too Cool.

and Ron? Where do you find this stuff?

And yep, I laugh and sigh, before I type this, 'cause I want to be very clear I'm not questioning your sources out of a disbelief, but just 'cause I'd like the benefit of knowing how to research these things too.

(wince--did I type that lightly enough? laughing, on eggshells today! )
Ron
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16 posted 08-31-2004 09:44 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

There's actually very little in my post, Karen, that required research. Most of the dates I cited are available at the main site, either in Poe's biography or the page for the poem. The date the poem was actually published was found in this post by seadiayrs, along with an interesting (but far-fetched) analogy between life and death and dashes and periods.

For what it might be worth, I found that link on Google by searching for poe alone analysis. I perused most of the first ten results at Google, but found little of interest beyond what had already been said here.

All else I posted is just supposition and further questions, based on reading this poem and just about every other poem Poe ever wrote.


serenity blaze
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17 posted 08-31-2004 10:03 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

and thank you.

Now I'll behave.



for awhile.

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18 posted 09-02-2004 02:53 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

Just a few quick thoughts ...

I liked Brian's idea that this is Poe's commentary on the loneliness of poetic persective.  Too many times I have heard the overly obvious "oh poor Poe, what a terrible life he had!" interpretation, which in my opinion is completely off for this poem.

Poe was a master; he was also well aware of the fact, and was known for being ruthless in his criticism of his fellow poets.  He also had a somewhat aristocratic view of his fellow man; whether this was affected or genuine, to read his own commentaries it seems that he held all of mankind up against the yardstick of his own perfectionism, and found it sorely lacking.

With this in mind, I read the first stanza with an implicit understanding that Poe's difference from "others" is not only purposeful, but preferred:

"I could not [bear to] bring my passions from a common spring"  

Interesting also that the word "common" could be read as simply "shared, communal" or as "of low rank, vulgar, coarse."  Was Poe bemoaning his exile from humanity, or separating himself from the peasants?

Of course,

"..the sun that round me rolled.."

the universe revolves around him, so you can hardly blame him!

~L
LoveBug
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19 posted 09-03-2004 08:52 PM       View Profile for LoveBug   Email LoveBug   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LoveBug

"Alone" was my one of my main favorites as a younger teenager. I always thought of it as someone who was depressed, who could not be happy like other people, or take joy like other people, and so he was alone. I think it's really interesting to think that maybe he was referring to his gift of poetry and that sort of thinking, as opposed to his depression and hard life. I still think of it as a bit of both...

And I do love the sort of personal 'confessional' poetry this is. I always have A very interesting thread, I've enjoyed reading everything here!

Oh, make me Thine forever
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never ever
Outlive my love for Thee

Michael
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20 posted 09-07-2004 10:18 PM       View Profile for Michael   Email Michael   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Michael

Allow me to just throw a few final thoughts in here since I was away for the weekend.  In my opinion the dashes represented one continuous thought, Serenity; an epiphany of sorts about his lifelong uniqueness that is summed up within the poem.  It’s not the seeing of this trait that is the epiphany so much as the acceptance of it, realizing not only will he never quite be what he perceives others to be but that other will probably never view him as he views himself and finding this to be a benefice instead of a curse.  Early in his career I believe he sought recognition from his field though his views later toward the same people were somewhat disdainful.  It may be the dash at the end was to signify the “coming full circle” aspect of the poem, taking the ending and justifying it with the beginning; sort of a “The answers was there all along.” view.

I believe there were some subtleties in there as well on Poe’s part, Ron.  Where the first part of the poem is quite direct, beginning with the italicized word Then on line 9 there starts to be some obscurities.  This is where Poe’s brilliance shines brightest for me.  That everything he speaks of from the lightning to the red cliff to the sun that ‘round me roll’d had specific meaning to him I do not doubt.  Even so, I do not believe he needed these specifics to be known in detail so much as to convey to the readers the emotion behind them.  Your red cliff may be far different than my red cliff but our personal feelings toward each might be very similar.  To me, this is something he does this perfectly, giving the poem much less of the confessional aspect Brian spoke of.  Most everyone who I have seen read this piece comes away with pretty much the same feelings.  

Oh, and Sunshine, all I saw in this work was myself.  

I will venture into Wordsworth now with Brian’s post… look for my reply there soon.


Michael
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21 posted 06-08-2005 01:44 AM       View Profile for timothysangel1973   Email timothysangel1973   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit timothysangel1973's Home Page   View IP for timothysangel1973

Gosh... I am definitely among some very smart people here and didn't realize it lol

This is a great thread... I have it saved, cause there is so much information here.

Yep... I'm digging again, stirring up the ghosts that ya'll thought were asleep

Cloud 9
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22 posted 06-08-2005 12:45 PM       View Profile for Cloud 9   Email Cloud 9   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Cloud 9

I am even going to comment here....

That is amazing. I never did well in school and as I have aged, I find myself learning so much (politics,art and history). Ron, I am amazed on the "detailed" information you give and have knowledge of.  
Janet Marie
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23 posted 06-08-2005 04:56 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

I, too, was awed by lightning's flash,
Embering in mind even after the crash.
Followed closely by silent rain,
Blood-red, falling from the sky in vain.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

*note to self*

send Mr Poe a thank you note for waking the amazing muse of Michael.



I was off line moving when this thread was originally posted...Im so glad it came back up.....though I now choose not to post my writing, the whole reason I have stayed at pips is because of how much about poetry can be learned here...

funny how that happens when ya hang around poets.

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24 posted 01-16-2008 03:50 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

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