Poetic Spotlight: A Dream Within a Dream

I’m late, I’m late for a very important…oh, well, it’s not quite the end of the day yet, so I suppose I’m still within my time frame. My lateness, however, I do assure you was for a very good cause…Photographer Chris got himself all tangled up in the mountains, and made a horrendous forgetfulness of his time. Plus side though: some rather lovely shots in sunset shade, of the Rocky Mountains and that nestled city Denver gleaming.

Check my photography site to see what I mean on that particular portfolio front, but now I’ve got to get down to business!

Edgar Allan Poe, image care of Wikimedia Commons.

This week’s poem of the week is a classic from the hand of the famous Edgar Allan Poe. While many know that particular writer for his arabesque, grotesque, and downright gothic explorations in his short stories, I must assure you there is so much more to the man than that particular genre! Poe – who is sometimes credited with having given the short story its art form – was touched by many things, and his pen guided him to many strange and varied fronts, this piece – “A Dream Within a Dream” – among them.

While I’m sure many of us know the phenomenon the name suggests, the poem is actually a dramatization of life…an outpouring of question and confusion to some of the stranger facets of existence. It gives rise to the old adage “Truth stranger than Fiction” by leading the narrator to his final question…

But enough of my words. I give you Poe’s:

“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?”
~ Edgar Allan Poe


2 thoughts on “Poetic Spotlight: A Dream Within a Dream

  1. a dream within a dream…now i know where they got the idea for inception from..ha…no seriously…a beautiful poem..haven’t really read his poetry so far but esp. the second stanza really touched me

  2. i’ve never seen this poem before ~ and it did surprise me that it’s by Poe. i was really moved by the second stanza, too. thank you for providing us glimpses of poetry we may not have seen before, Chris. even if once read, it’s always nice to revisit.

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