- Education and Science»
- History & Archaeology»
- History of the Modern Era
Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
Edgar Allan Poe with Raven
The Ten Greatest Poetic Verses by Edgar Allan Poe.
A long time ago a man came onto the literary scene. He was an author of prose and a master of the poem. That man was Edgar Allan Poe. He was perhaps the most misunderstood man in literary history. The times of his day, people didn’t understand his works. Those that did were few and far between. It is however, an undeniable fact that he was the most influential author of the 19th century. Some of my favorite poetic verses penned by him are:
10. The Conqueror Worm
Lo! ‘tis a gala night
Within the lonesome latter years!
An angel throng, be winged, bedight
In veils, and drowned in tears.
This verse is from The Conqueror Worm. Although this poem was not Edgar Allan Poe’s most memorable poem, it speaks volumes about the tormented soul he had. This poem was about a play that angels were watching, which was performed by mines. It is about the inevitability of death. By the end of this poem the mimes are devoured by a huge entity, which isn’t so bad, called the Conqueror Worm. This poem was published twice, first in 1843 solely as a poem, but is more known because Poe used it in a story called “Ligeia” which was published in 1845 as a short story. To read the poem click here
9. To My Mother
Because I feel that, in the heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
This verse is from the poem To My Mother. It is a short poem but says a lot within its few words. This poem was published in 1847 for his mother-in-law. The poem speaks of how important the mother of his lover was to him and how she was more to him than his own mother who died when Poe was only two. To read the whole poem click here
The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere—
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
This verse is from the poem Ulalume. Ulalume is a wonderful Poe poem about a man, the narrator, who is wondering in the lost and lonesome woods of October with a volcanic heart. He is having a discussion with his soul and becomes lost. Although he is lost he is guided by the brightest star in the night sky, but becomes weary and mistrustful of where it is leading him. When he comes to his senses he realizes that he wandered out to Ulalume’s vault on the same night in October exactly one year after he placed her there. It is a great poem to read in its entirety. It was published anonymously in 1847. Click here to read the entire poem.
7. The Bells
Hear the sledges with the bells
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that over sprinkle
All the heavens seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight.
This verse is from the lengthy poem called The Bells. The poem was written in 1848, a year before Edgar Allan Poe’s death and was published in 1849 after his death. The poem starts off with the tinkling of the bells and ends with the mourning of the bells. I think it is reminiscent of life and how it goes. To read more of “The Bells” click here
At morn—at noon—at twilight dim
Maria! Thou hast heard my hymn!
In joy and woe—in good and ill
Mother of God, be with me still.
This poem is short, I believe half of it is here, but my goodness, it surely is a profound one. It is one that makes you sad and makes you long for love and peace. It is a truly great poem. It was published in 1835. I believe it is a poem about his hopes for a bright future with his new bride Virginia, I could be wrong though as there is not very much literature about this poem. To read it in its entirety click here
I dwelt alone
In a world of moan,
And my soul was a stagnant tide
Till the fair and gentle Eulalie became my blushing bride
Till the yellow-haired young Eulalie became my smiling bride.
If there was ever a poem that could more accurately describe the power of love I don’t know what it could be. Eulalie is a poem about the effects of love and how it can make a person go from the loneliness of a “world of moan,” to a world full of bliss. Edgar Allan Poe believe that the loss of a beautiful woman is the most poetical topic. He clearly shows this to be fact from poems like, “The Raven”, “Annabel Lee”, “Lenore”, and “Ulalume. All of which are some of his best works. Some believe these poems to be autobiographical in nature because of his constant loss of the women who loved him and that he loved. To read the poem in its entirety click here
4. A Dream Within 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 love this poem because of its simple questioning of life and reality. This poem was published in 1849 and it question how a person can distinguish between fantasy and reality. This poem is reflective of how Poe felt about his life at that given time. He felt that he couldn’t hold onto even a single grain of sand as things in his life kept slipping away. To read more click here
3. Annabel Lee
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
Annabel Lee is a tragic poem of the loss of true love. This is the last complete poem ever penned by Edgar Allan Poe and was published in 1849 shortly after his death. It explores the theme of the loss of a beautiful woman and a love that was so strong even the angels were jealous. Inspiration for Annabel Lee is believed to be from Virginia, Poe’s late wife. In the end of the poem the narrator never loses his love for the lovely Annabel Lee and seeks to spend his next life with her. To read this poem click here
Ah, broken is the golden bowl! The spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!—a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear?—weep now or never more!
See on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
This verse is from his poem aptly named Lenore. I believe Lenore is the literary version of his lost love Virginia who died in 1847. Edgar Allan Poe died two years later in 1849. Although this poem was most likely written before Virginia died I believe it was written while she was in failing health and it is the outpouring of his emotions into the impending loss of his one true love. It is a lovely poem in its entirety but this is my favorite verse. This poem was first published in 1831 under a different title. It was called “A Paean”. In 1843 it was republished with the name of “Lenore” and unlike most other Poe poems this one is about death but of the narrators belief that him and the lovely Lenore would be reunited in the afterlife. To read all of this wonderful poem click here
1. The Raven
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door
Only this and nothing more.
The raven is the poem that launched Edgar Allan Poe into the limelight of the 19th century and wouldn’t release him, not even today is he forgotten because of this poem along with a couple of others on this page. Poe wrote that poetry was his true passion, and we can clearly see that he was very good at constructing verse. The poem was published and attributed to Edgar Allan Poe in 1845. When it was first published in 1845 it brought fame to Edgar Allan Poe almost immediately but it never did bring him fortune. It is all about the tormented soul of a student or a man, this person is reading to study or to forget the love of the lost Lenore. The stately raven in popular mythology is a symbol of death, so to be visited by the raven while longing for reconnection with Lenore, the man becomes tormented with hopes of seeing Lenore in heaven. The raven however continually quotes, “Nevermore” which adds to his torment. When he wants the raven to leave, it will not and he believes the bird is an ominous entity that only knows the word “Nevermore” and it will not leave him. In the end he resigns to the fact that his soul will forever be in the shadow of the Raven, and shall be lifted “Nevermore.” Oddly enough, Edgar Allan Poe’s soul will never be lifted from out the shadow of “The Raven.” The poem is also the most recognizable poems ever, I think. Sure there are the wonderful works of countless poets throughout history but this one… all you have to do is say “Once upon a midnight dreary” in a crowd of friends or strangers and see how many know what you’re referring to. Chances are most of them will, even the most non poetic folks will know that. To read the poem please click here
The Raven as read by James Earl Jones
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe Works
Which Poem is your Favorite
In parting from you know, I thank you for reading and hope you’ve enjoyed this journey of discovery with me.
© 2010 by Wesley Cox. All rights reserved. Copying without permission is illegal and will be prosecuted.