Edgar Allan Poe Can Be Light & Fluffy, Too…Kind of…

This month’s poem is by my favorite poet and short story writer. He had this amazing ability to trick the reader with unreliable narrators. They win your trust. You root for them. And by the time they reveal their true nature it’s too late. This is a talent I very much hope to possess myself one day. The Cask of Amontillado is this trick at it’s best – a great example of a narrator you think is transparent and telling you everything but isn’t. I can’t recommend that story enough. That and The Masque of the Red Death. Stephen King is another author known to use this approach and do it well. One of my favorite more modern examples of this is Secret Window, Secret Garden, made into a movie called “Secret Window” starring the fabulous Johnny Depp. If you haven’t seen that movie, you have to see it. It’s amazing.

Oftentimes when people think about Edgar Allan Poe (much like they think of Stephen King), they think horror, violence, or darkness. They forget (or don’t know) that Stephen King is also responsible for The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption. Edgar Allan Poe wrote some beautiful poetry. Many of which are nothing like The Raven (which I LOVE). He has many love poems…though admittedly many are clearly about a lost love…most likely one that has passed away. Here’s one of my favorite poems by him. And as you’ll see, there’s nothing horror-bent about it. Enjoy!

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 through 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. 
(Edgar Allan Poe)


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