by Edgar Allen Poe
interpreted by Conni Buning
childhood's hour I have not been
others were; I have not seen
others saw; I could not bring
passions from a common spring.
the same source I have not taken
sorrow; I could not awaken
heart to joy at the same tone;
all I loved, I loved alone.
in my childhood, in the dawn
a most stormy life- was drawn
every depth of good and ill
mystery which binds me still:
the torrent, or the fountain,
the red cliff of the mountain,
the sun that round me rolled
its autumn tint of gold,
the lightning in the sky
it passed me flying by,
the thunder and the storm,
the cloud that took the form
the rest of Heaven was blue)
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".
Type of poem: Lyric
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.
Meaning: 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.
Examples of poetic techniques used in the poem:
have not been as others were
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
Most memorable quote from the poem: "And all I loved,
I loved alone."
© Smelli Notes 2001