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Dreamland - Edgar Allan Poe

EAP poem analysis
by

Stéphanie Keeris

on 15 October 2014

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Transcript of Dreamland - Edgar Allan Poe

Literary Analysis by Stéphanie Keeris
Rhythm
Words
Saying and Suggesting
Imagery
Sound
By a route obscure ad lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,

Dreamland
by Edgar Allen Poe
Denotations
Connotations
Symbols
Thule - a country found in classical European literature (perhaps Norway)
Eidolon - a phantom
Vale - valley, or mortal/earthly life
Tarns - small mountain lakes or pools
Legion - great in number
"lone and dead"
"dismal"
"melancholy"
"agony"
"woes"
Sheeted Memories
memories of friends who have passed
shrouded in white
comforting sight
Tears/Lakes (water)
water is purifying, but also can imply drowning
the lakes are also mirrors, reflecting deep sadness
lonely, haunted bodies of water, haunted by ghouls
"grey woods"
"white-robed"
"Bottomless vales and boundless floods"
"ill angels"
"Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
Their still waters- still and chilly"
"Their sad waters, sad and chilly"
"By the mountains- near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-"
Shift in the poem, the speaker begins to describe the scenery

The word choice implies a vast area
The strange contrast here evokes an uneasy feel in the audience
Normally think of angels as kind and innocent
Though this is meant to describe the deceased, it seems out of place from the darkness of the rest of the poem
"grey" implies sickly and old
The author invokes our sense of sight
The speaker's use of color to describe different nouns emphasizes the contrast
Personification of the waters
Giving the waters emotion adds to the strangeness
This personification gives off a very disturbing feel
Auditory imagery
Rhyme Scheme
A

By a route obscure and lonely,
A
Haunted by ill angels only,
B
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
B
On a black throne reigns upright
C
I have reached these lands but newly
C
From an uiltimate dim Thule-
D
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
D
Out of SPACE- out of TIME.
Abstract Diction
Concrete Diction
"black throne"
"chasms, and caves, and Titan woods"
"mountains"
"seas"
"lily"
"swamp"
"ghouls"
Exact Rhyme
"Eidolon"
"SPACE"
"sad"
"dismal"
"melancholy"
"Eldorado"
"Soul"
words that one can envision
words that have no clear meaning
By a route obscure and
lonely
, Haunted by ill angels
only
,
Where an Eidolon, named
NIGHT
,
On a black throne reigns
upright
,
Allusions
-"Dreamland" seems frivolous, fun, worry-free
-actual poem is very dark and eerie with a tense feel
Near Rhyme
Bottomless vales and boundless
floods
,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan
woods
Eidolon - a demon, a phantom from ancient Greek literature

Eldorado - mythological city of gold

Thule - country in classical European literature
By the grey woods,-by the
swamp
Where the toad and the newt
encamp
-
Masculine Rhyme
Diction
From the wild clime that lieth,
sublime
,
Out of SPACE-out of
TIME
Lakes that endlessly
outspread
Their lone waters-lone and
dead
,-
Poe's diction is reflective of the time he was writing. The majority of the language is easily understandable, but he makes references to classical literature that would have been easily recognized in 1844.
Feminine Rhyme
Their still waters-still and
chilly
With the snows of the lolling
lily
.
For the heart whose woes are
legion
'Tis a peaceful, soothing
region
-
Alliteration
Dreamland
by Edgar Allan Poe
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule-
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
Their still waters- still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.
By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,-
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,-
By the mountains- near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-
By the grey woods,- by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp-
By the dismal tarns and pools
Where dwell the Ghouls,-
By each spot the most unholy-
In each nook most melancholy-
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past-
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by-
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.
For the heart whose woes are legion
'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-
For the spirit that walks in shadow
'Tis- oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not- dare not openly view it!
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.
Poe uses his diction to paint this gloomy landscape. While many of its features are described in concrete terms, this is, after all, a dream scape, and abstract ideas come into play.
Theme
Isolation
speaker is making this trip to dreamland alone
Perception of reality
the word "lone"/"lonely" repeatedly appears in the poem
speaker's sadness comes from his loneliness
Title is Dreamland - entering a different world
Examples from poem:
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past

'Tis-oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
Sadness/Loss
the poem is very sad and gloomy to convey the feeling of loss
"In agony, to the Earth-and Heaven."
Subject
a lonely boy
Into
s
eas without a
s
hore


s
urging, unto
s
kies of fire;


With the snows of the
l
olling
l
ily.
Lyric Poem
because the poem deals with the poet's views and emotions
The poem is opposite of what the title implies
Internal Rhyme
From a wild
clime
that lieth,
sublime
Full transcript