Tuesday, April 15, 2008


If I ever get to go back to school to do graduate work in English, I think I'll become a Poe expert. I am not aware of anybody who was more talented in creating mood and emotion than Poe. I say this because Poe doesn't create emotion by describing it or by describing scenes in great detail; he creates the mood through the sounds of the words themselves. These lines from "The Raven" exemplify this quality perfectly with its groaning "o-r" sounds:

Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

I recently rediscovered the poem "To M.L.S._" It reaches me for reasons I can't explain. This poem comes from a deeply depressed and troubled man, as you can tell from the picture above, who no doubt struggled constantly to unearth his "deep-buried faith." I especially enjoy his thoughts that his "grattitude Nearest resembles worship," where his worship in the traditional sense succombed to his drug addiction and depression.

Of all who hail thy presence as the morning-
Of all to whom thine absence is the night-
The blotting utterly from out high heaven
The sacred sun–of all who, weeping, bless thee
Hourly for hope–for life–ah! above all,
For the resurrection of deep-buried faith
In Truth–in Virtue–in Humanity-
Of all who, on Despair's unhallowed bed
Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen
At thy soft-murmured words, "Let there be light!"
At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled
In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes-
Of all who owe thee most–whose gratitude
Nearest resembles worship–oh, remember
The truest–the most fervently devoted,
And think that these weak lines are written by him-
By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think
His spirit is communing with an angel's.


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