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A Dream Within a Dream

I first read this is high school and fell in love with it. It was shortly after the break-up with my first boyfriend and the poem seemed to capture my feelings.

All these years later, and after much study of life, the universe and everything, I do think that all we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.


A Dream
Within A Dream
by Edgar Allan Poe

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?

datura datura 56-60, F 52 Responses Oct 20, 2008

Your Response


Thanks for sharing such a wonderful poem

You're welcome :-)

Not to forget The Raven or The Bells....

It is my favorite poem. I cry every time. That is some powerful writing.

Q, I actually memorized Annabelle Lee as a teen because I loved it so. Still remember it.

Confession: I have not read any of the comments because this story is so old--just felt the need to insert myself.<br />
He is my favorite. He was a genius.<br />
See: Annabelle Lee

Well, I'm not glowing green like you :-) Reminds me of Stephen King's novel The Tommyknockers!

Yeah yeah , but have you got the glow?

I have my moments when I feel the same, Tas.

dreams seem more real to me than ' RL'

Yup!<br />
<br />
I got Under the Dome for Christmas but haven't started it yet. Did you like it?

He sure was, Destry! I fell in love with Poe's short stories in 6th grade when my teacher read us The Tell Tale Heart. It was the start of my love for the macabre!


How can this be, Sir b! <br />
<br />
Is there hope that the warrior/scientist and the spooky forest queen might find common ground!<br />
<br />
I am amazed ;-)

alas, I believe that it takes a special person to partner a genius. Every social issue that the modern woman complains of in the relationship, will be her plight if she is the partner.

Ah, but then he chose to remain (I presume) in this anti-social construct, ie single, and as a result his genius could flourish.<br />
<br />
It looks like we might be agreeing - again.

Perhaps, sir b--yet in Poe's case it was the loss of his relationship with his wife through her early death that was a catalyst in his writing genius.

true lady d, but the genii of the world simply do not have the time and energy available to invest in such "trivia", lest their work will be largely unfinished when they die.

Perhaps a human connection can remain alive--yet not staying exactly the same, but growing and developing-- without conscious work if both parties are aware of this philosophy and have no preconceived notions and expectations as to how the connection should be. But, yes, to keep it alive as it presently is would require awareness and work. <br />
<br />
It is better to let it blossom and develop than to try to keep it the same?

I have left this comment on another story but I think that it fits aptly here too when one considers the duration of a relationship vs changes.<br />
<br />
see below<br />
I am the sum of my genetics plus my experiences, so I am by the very nature, changing every moment of every day because my experiences are increasing to match.<br />
<br />
This indicates that my connection with another human, the environment, documented works, architecture, fashion, etc. is doomed to be transient or mutating. <br />
<br />
After the "magical phase" of the connection is over, I have to consciously work on keeping the connection alive if I want to retain elements of that present reality.<br />
<br />
humbly<br />

A very good thought, Sir b. <br />
<br />
Genius, by its very definition, would no longer be genius if it were simply normal or average!

i just found this now, milady.<br />
<br />
Genius, by its very nature, is "abnormal" and thus a social misfit. It cannot continue to yield its fruit in a "normal" construct and so, the life of a genius will always seem to be a "mess" to the eye of "everyman". He will outgrow his partner because of the pace at which he changes, and maybe even, outgrow the social construct of his time.<br />
<br />
just a thought<br />

Hi thedistracted1. I would have to agree with you.

And yes its true all the greats were troubled. Buddha was troubled, that's why he left the princely palace and starting wandering, in am attempt to find the truth of life.<br />
I think its the pain which deepens us. All the deep understanding and wisdom has a root in misery somewhere

Datura, this is a gem constructed out of words. feeling>ex<x>pression>words>gem<br />
Thank you for sharing this.

I used to read a lot of poetry , and often get the books out to re-read old favorites.

what a lovely poem!! dont read much poetry, maybe I should start.x

Gordon **bleepin** Ramsey totally **bleepin*** ROCKS!!!!<br />
<br />
And now back to our regularly scheduled Edgar Allen Poe - a - thon....

Lol... he's awesome. Troubled though, for sure!

Yuk! Is he over there? You can keep him!!

That's the one!