Monday, October 29, 2018

Poe Poems

Did everyone go out this weekend and celebrate Halloween in some way or another? I actually did this year, which is rare. The last time I dressed up was I think eight years ago. This year I did the utter least in way of costume which was to dress as a cat with just my actual wardrobe, a scarf for ears and a yoga mat string thing for a tail. Needless to say it was very basic but who cares! I was moved by the H-ween spirit this year and going to a fete and walking around the city seeing people in lame to amazingly impressive costumes and general mischievous joviality warmed even the most cynical of hearts.

I know that Halloween is technically a few days away but heck, I don't have kids so it’s already over for me but to keep with the spirit of the season I thought it would be nice to share some poems by American Goth #1, Edgar Allen Poe.

I love Poe’s writing. I always say that Poe has a terrible PR manager because he has this silly perception of being a twee-goth in a whoa-is-me sort of way but he is actually quite a literary technician and he is a sort of American writer that is of the place and time in which he lived and imagined.

Enjoy the turning of seasons and may you find tricks and treats to sustain you for the coming long winter days.

Edgar Allen Poe (1809–1849)


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—

A Dream Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?  
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp 
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys 
By good angels tenanted, 
Once a fair and stately palace— 
Radiant palace—reared its head. 
In the monarch Thought’s dominion, 
It stood there! 
Never seraph spread a pinion 
Over fabric half so fair! 

Banners yellow, glorious, golden, 
On its roof did float and flow 
(This—all this—was in the olden 
Time long ago) 
And every gentle air that dallied, 
In that sweet day, 
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, 
A wingèd odor went away. 

Wanderers in that happy valley, 
Through two luminous windows, saw 
Spirits moving musically 
To a lute’s well-tunèd law, 
Round about a throne where, sitting, 
In state his glory well befitting, 
The ruler of the realm was seen. 

And all with pearl and ruby glowing 
Was the fair palace door, 
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing 
And sparkling evermore, 
A troop of Echoes, whose sweet duty 
Was but to sing, 
In voices of surpassing beauty, 
The wit and wisdom of their king. 

But evil things, in robes of sorrow, 
Assailed the monarch’s high estate; 
(Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow 
Shall dawn upon him, desolate!) 
And round about his home the glory 
That blushed and bloomed 
Is but a dim-remembered story 
Of the old time entombed. 

And travellers, now, within that valley, 
Through the red-litten windows see 
Vast forms that move fantastically 
To a discordant melody; 
While, like a ghastly rapid river, 
Through the pale door 
A hideous throng rush out forever, 
And laugh—but smile no more. 


Dim vales—and shadowy floods— 
And cloudy-looking woods, 
Whose forms we can’t discover 
For the tears that drip all over: 
Huge moons there wax and wane— 
Every moment of the night— 
Forever changing places— 
And they put out the star-light 
With the breath from their pale faces. 
About twelve by the moon-dial, 
One more filmy than the rest 
(A kind which, upon trial, 
They have found to be the best) 
Comes down—still down—and down 
With its centre on the crown 
Of a mountain’s eminence, 
While its wide circumference 
In easy drapery falls 
Over hamlets, over halls, 
Wherever they may be— 
O’er the strange woods—o’er the sea— 
Over spirits on the wing— 
Over every drowsy thing— 
And buries them up quite 
In a labyrinth of light— 
And then, how, deep! —O, deep, 
Is the passion of their sleep. 
In the morning they arise, 
And their moony covering 
Is soaring in the skies, 
With the tempests as they toss, 
Like—almost any thing— 
Or a yellow Albatross. 
They use that moon no more 
For the same end as before, 
Videlicet, a tent— 
Which I think extravagant: 
Its atomies, however, 
Into a shower dissever, 
Of which those butterflies 
Of Earth, who seek the skies, 
And so come down again 
(Never-contented things!) 
Have brought a specimen 
Upon their quivering wings.