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Poetry Analysis Notes


by Edgar Allen Poe
interpreted by Conni Buning

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 loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every 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 rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed 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.

Poet: Edgar Allan Poe-lived in America from 1809 to 1849. His mother died when he was
two, and, throughout the course of his life. many other people in his life died. He went to University of Virginia for a time, and eventually married his cousin, Virginia Clemm. She died a few years later from tuberculosis. Poe, on a visit to Baltimore in 1849, was found in a coma, and died soon after. He wrote many famous short stories and poems, "The Raven" probably being his best-known work. He also wrote a detective story, "Murders in the Rue Morgue".

Vocabulary: [NONE]

Type of poem:

Speaker: Possibly Poe himself


Tone: The tone of this poem is sad, the speaker resigned to being different but (possibly) wishing against it. The speaker is also lonely-he has been alone all his life, sharing his experiences, his joys and his sorrows, with no one.

The speaker talks about how he has also been different from others, always liked different things, always seen things from a different paradigm. He looks up into the sky, and sees, in the clear blue sky of Heaven, a demon.

Structure of poem: traditional verse
- rhyme scheme aabbccdd, etc.
- iambic tetrameter

Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:

I have not been as others were Simile
I have not seen as others saw

Connection between the poem and the poet's life and/or times: Poe led a very "stormy life "and many people he loved died. He tended to shock the people of his day with his short stories and poems, and the obsession with death and decay that Poe seemed to have.

Most memorable quote from the poem:
"And all I loved, I loved alone."

© Smelli Notes 2001