Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Edgar Allen Poe

Many many years ago, as an impressionable adolescent I came across this poem. It stuck in my mind, probably because of its simple rhythm and repetitive rhyme. It is stuck in my head again like a song but has an ITLADian resonance. I'll only post the first verse because that seems the most relevant.

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.



19 comments:

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Woodsprite: Thank you for this Edgar Allen Poe reference.

Poe is one of many people I intended to post about, so thank you for saving me the job.

As well as Dream within a Dream, amongst many others, it is little known that he wrote an essay poem in 1848 entitled Eureka: A Prose Poem (subtitled "An Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe"), which predated the Big Bang Theory by 80 years and included much of the Cosmological theory that Georges LemaƮtre and Fred Hoyle et al, were to espouse almost a century later.

In the piece he also gave one of the very first reasonable solutions to Olbers’ Paradox that Tony and I have banged on about on here sometime ago.

> Eureka: A Prose Poem by Edgar Allen Poe <

Poe ridiculed and eschewed the ‘scientific method’ in Eureka and instead wrote from pure intuition. For this reason, he considered it a work of art, not science, but insisted that it was still true and considered it to be his career masterpiece.

Interestingly Eureka was criticised by Scientists as being "full of scientific errors" as it suggested an opposition to Newtonian principles regarding the density and rotation of planets, which modern day Cosmologists are now saying was actually correct.

Poe was a man well ahead of his time, thank you Di.

woodsprite said...

Glad to be of assistance!

*smile*

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Woodsprite: Oh, and of course, he was a Temporal Lobe Epileptic too!

woodsprite said...

Karl: I thought I'd read that somewhere.

For me he seems to be one of the influences in my own life who crop up like characters in Antony Powell's "Dance to the Music of Time" - an ITLADian title if ever there was one!

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Woodsprite: Ah! "Dance To The Music Of Time", from the Nicolas Poussin painting, yes!

I would recommend you read "The Poe Shadow" by Matthew Pearl (and also his "The Dante Club")

woodsprite said...

Karl: As if I needed encouragement to read more books!

Thanks Karl. My book list is growing well *grin*

roshni said...

Hi woodsprite!

( a ghazal)

How to comprehend? Her raspy breathing stopped.
A fever penned her frail end, then stopped.

Her small, steel wristwatch is still ticking on the table.
The clock does not pretend her heart has stopped.

Her visa bill is back, it snooped here late last month.
This cruel computer-trend – it must be stopped.

The house-keys on her chain, rest here inside the drawer.
She tied up each loose end, coughed dry, then stopped.

Her embroidered button-box, a needle and red silk
can’t mend her threadbare gasp that broke, then stopped.

The shelf, my sweeping hand, her photo’s shattered frame;
the face of my best friend has crashed and stopped.

If the body is fuse wire, does electricity live on,
did she ascend before the power stopped?


This ghazal is a letter, a prayer torn from the book.
Send it, Bonehead, before your hand is stopped...

seems silly but...

Anthony Peake said...

I had planned to feature Edgar Allan Poe in The Daemon. I had read in secondary sources that he was, indeed, a temporal lobe epileptic. However after scan reading a couple of his biographies I could find no evidence of this.

I was particularly interested in Poe's fascination with doppelgangers and doubles. Clearly this was a very popular literary form at that time but nevertheless Iwonder if some of it was written from experience.

Off on a slight tangent I have been told that Robert Howard of The Conan stories was a TLEr and that he stated that his storiesere dictated to him.

Can any of you guys out there confirm this?

SM Kovalinsky said...

WOODSPRITE! I just now came upon this, and at first was sure that I had posted this unconsciously; I even checked for my name and found yours. As a teenager I loved Poe's poetry, and this was my own favorite. Do you know his poem, "Alone" which begins, "From childhood's hour, I have not seen as others saw. . " It speaks of always seeing "a daemon in my view", and when I found Tony I thought I'd refound this poem too. Peake was a circling back to age 14 for me.

SM Kovalinsky said...

Oh, KLLM; just now read your Eureka commentary. That you would know this! My father's obsession. Uncanny, quite movingly odd. Yes, Poe was an American reverie of the future. He is very Daemon-like, a man of Peake, and acquainted with Peake.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: WOW! Was your Father interested in Poe and Eureka then?

SM Kovalinsky said...

Oh, yes; He loved Poe, loved Eureka, introduced me to it when I was 14; spoke of it as you do.

Karl L Le Marcs said...

Susan Marie: Amazing, well he must have been a great man anyway, being your Father, but any man who appreciates the advanced genius of Poe and especially Eureka has my respect.

woodsprite said...

Susan Marie: I think there must be a subconscious affinity between the people who post on here. Even though we are so disparate as individuals with definite interests and widely different life paths, we seem to share an esoteric collective unconscious. I love this - it makes me feel at home! I rarely have the opportunity to express this - in my day to day life I worry that people wouldn't understand, or think me odd. I've also learned to keep a lot of things quiet because people might suspect me of showing off!

And I echo Karl's comment about Poe and your father!

SM Kovalinsky said...

Thank you, as you echo my own thoughts, and I have often noticed that Tony seems to have drawn to him a group of people who are brilliant, but in some sense have a hidden undercurrent, which responds to his own Daemon, I would say. I have often felt that my own father - who suffered for being a highly unusual person, with a wide range of abilities and genius - has appeared again, in Tony and in Karl, as if coming up again to the surface from some dark well of the past . Oh, that last did not sound too good, I am actually having a horrific day, but did want to thank you, once again Woodsprite , for placing these beautiful lines here.

woodsprite said...

Susan Marie: I'm sorry you're having a bad day! Maybe I was inspired to leave the quotation here to bring you comfort and if so, I'm very glad to have done so. *hug*

SM Kovalinsky said...

Thank you so much, you're very kind, and yes, it is a help.

Anthony Peake said...

SUSAN MARIE: I hope your day improved. I hope that this blog acts as a counterpoint to life's problems.

DI: I am in total agreement with regard to your comment about a 'drawing together of like-minded spirits'. I know from emails that I receive that as well as the regulars who post on this blog there are many more who are "supporters in the shadows". I am sad that they do not feel that they wish to place comments and postings but that is their option. I know that they to receive great support from reading the fascinating comments found on here.

We have something quite magical here and I am both honoured and humbled that I started it all. I am sure that from this tiny acorn massive oaks will grow!!!

Karl L Le Marcs said...

*waves at the 'supporters in the shadows'*