Guest Poet de Jour Edgar


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–


I think I understand Poe’s poetry more now than as a teenager.

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13 Responses

  1. Poe was the first poet I became interested in.

    The Raven was my favorite poem growing up. You might guess I was a tad depressed as a teen.

    “Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore”. may be the scariest line in poetry, in the context with which it’s used.

    “Nevermore” – still brings chills to my spine.

  2. This is an interesting poem for you to choose to present, Ric. It’s soooooo dark. Do you like it? Does the sentiment that informs it resonate with you—I mean, are you attracted to it, feel an affinity for it, or do you find it alien, and alienating?

    • Hi John. Yes, I like this one, in a been-there-done-that kinda way. A once haunting affinity, that kept me from facing it, is becoming more like an informed affinity where I can say, “Yeah, I get that.”

      • Yeah, I know what you mean. That’s the beauty of good poetry, isn’t it: it echoes back for you your melancholy. (Hey, I believe, at the very end of this poem, you want to put a period, not a dash.) I have a poem to this same effect—well, not to THIS same effect; this is one chilling poem–on my Facebook profile. I’ll go fetch it. Here it is:

  3. oops: I mean, here:

    “So We’ll Go No More a Roving,” by Lord Byron

    So, we’ll go no more a-roving
    So late into the night,
    Though the heart be still as loving,
    And the moon be still as bright.

    For the sword outwears its sheath,
    And the soul wears out the breast,
    And the heart must pause to breathe,
    And love itself have rest.

    Though the night was made for loving,
    And the day returns too soon,
    Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
    By the light of the moon.

  4. And here is, of course, the greatest love poem ever
    written:

    To His Coy Mistress
    by Andrew Marvell

    Had we but world enough, and time,
    This coyness, Lady, were no crime
    We would sit down and think which way
    To walk and pass our long love’s day.
    Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
    Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
    Of Humber would complain. I would
    Love you ten years before the Flood,
    And you should, if you please, refuse
    Till the conversion of the Jews.
    My vegetable love should grow
    Vaster than empires, and more slow;
    An hundred years should go to praise
    Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
    Two hundred to adore each breast,
    But thirty thousand to the rest;
    An age at least to every part,
    And the last age should show your heart.
    For, Lady, you deserve this state,
    Nor would I love at lower rate.

    But at my back I always hear
    Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
    And yonder all before us lie
    Deserts of vast eternity.
    Thy beauty shall no more be found,
    Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
    My echoing song: then worms shall try
    That long preserved virginity,
    And your quaint honour turn to dust,
    And into ashes all my lust:
    The grave’s a fine and private place,
    But none, I think, do there embrace.

    Now therefore, while the youthful hue
    Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
    And while thy willing soul transpires
    At every pore with instant fires,
    Now let us sport us while we may,
    And now, like amorous birds of prey,
    Rather at once our time devour
    Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
    Let us roll all our strength and all
    Our sweetness up into one ball,
    And tear our pleasures with rough strife
    Through the iron gates of life:
    Thus, though we cannot make our sun
    Stand still, yet we will make him run.

  5. Okay, now I’m just being a pain. But I’m stuck now saying THIS is actually my favorite love poem; it’s “The Sun Rising,” by John Donne:

    BUSY old fool, unruly Sun,
    Why dost thou thus,
    Through windows, and through curtains, call on us?
    Must to thy motions lovers’ seasons run?
    Saucy pedantic wretch, go chide
    Late school-boys and sour prentices,
    Go tell court-huntsmen that the king will ride,
    Call country ants to harvest offices;
    Love, all alike, no season knows nor clime,
    Nor hours, days, months, which are the rags of time.

    Thy beams so reverend, and strong
    Why shouldst thou think?
    I could eclipse and cloud them with a wink,
    But that I would not lose her sight so long.
    If her eyes have not blinded thine,
    Look, and to-morrow late tell me,
    Whether both th’ Indias of spice and mine
    Be where thou left’st them, or lie here with me.
    Ask for those kings whom thou saw’st yesterday,
    And thou shalt hear, “All here in one bed lay.”

    She’s all states, and all princes I;
    Nothing else is;
    Princes do but play us; compared to this,
    All honour’s mimic, all wealth alchemy.
    Thou, Sun, art half as happy as we,
    In that the world’s contracted thus;
    Thine age asks ease, and since thy duties be
    To warm the world, that’s done in warming us.
    Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
    This bed thy center is, these walls thy sphere.

  6. And thanks John for the other poems here. I will read and re-reread them over time. I like your comment on the period vs the dash too. Very good advise.

  7. 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

    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–

    Ric, wow…this is profound. When I read this, I could really identify.

    Thank you for sharing such inspiring literature. It’s good to know we are not alone!

  8. Hi Storie. Yeah, this one resonated too well. And it is good to know we are not alone in our healing.

  9. It is good. so good. 🙂

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