Quotes by Edgar Allan Poe
A dark unfathom'd tide
Of interminable pride
A mystery‚ and a dream‚
Should my early life seem.
The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells.
Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
Over the Mountains
Of the Moon‚
Down the Valley of the Shadow‚
Ride‚ boldly ride‚
The shade replied‚ —
If you seek for Eldorado!
If I could dwell
Where Israfel
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the sky.
O God! Can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
Gaily bedight‚
A gallant knight‚
In sunshine and in shadow‚
Had journeyed long‚
Singing a song‚
In search of Eldorado.
The death then of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.
With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not — they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.
Years of love have been forgot
In the hatred of a minute.
Thou wouldst be loved? — then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not!
Being everything which now thou art‚
Be nothing which thou art not.
So with the world thy gentle ways‚
Thy grace‚ thy more than beauty‚
Shall be an endless theme of praise‚
And love — a simple duty.
They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace —
Radiant palace — reared its head.
Few persons can be made to believe that it is not quite an easy thing to invent a method of secret writing which shall baffle investigation. Yet it may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve.
While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, "Man",
And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
Come! let the burial rite be read the funeral song be sung!
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.
And all my days are trances‚
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances‚
And where thy footstep gleams
In what ethereal dances‚
By what eternal streams.
Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.
Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.
There is then no analogy whatever between the operations of the Chess-Player‚ and those of the calculating machine of Mr. Babbage‚and if we choose to call the former a ''pure machine'' we must be prepared to admit that it is‚ beyond all comparison‚ the most wonderful of the inventions of mankind.
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 weird clime that lieth‚ sublime‚
Out of SPACE — out of TIME.
The happiest day the happiest hour
My sear'd and blighted heart hath known,
The highest hope of pride and power,
I feel hath flown.
O‚ human love! thou spirit given‚
On Earth‚ of all we hope in Heaven!
Had the routine of our life at this place been known to the world, we should have been regarded as madmen —; although, perhaps, as madmen of a harmless nature.
Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path.
The object, Truth, or the satisfaction of the intellect, and the object, Passion, or the excitement of the heart, are, although attainable, to a certain extent, in poetry, far more readily attainable in prose.
These fellows, knowing the extravagant gullibility of the age, set their wits to work in the imagination of improbable possibilities — of odd accidents, as they term them; but to a reflecting intellect (like mine," I added, in parenthesis, putting my forefinger unconsciously to the side of my nose,) "to a contemplative understanding such as I myself possess, it seems evident at once that the marvelous increase of late in these 'odd accidents' is by far the oddest accident of all. For my own part, I intend to believe nothing henceforward that has anything of the 'singular' about it.
"The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all these more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind."
Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.
Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music without the idea is simply music; the idea without the music is prose from its very definitiveness.
But as‚ in ethics‚ evil is a consequence of good‚ so‚ in fact‚ out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day‚ or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.
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.
During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
I feel ye now I feel ye in your strength.
As for myself, I am simply Hop-Frog, the jester — and ''this is my last jest.''
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 lov'd ''I'' lov'd alone
Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore,
That gently, o'er a perfumed sea,
The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
'''Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece
And the grandeur that was Rome.'''

Thou wast that all to me‚ love‚
For which my soul did pine
A green isle in the sea‚ love‚
A fountain and a shrine‚
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers‚
And all the flowers were mine.
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
To observe attentively is to remember distinctly.
For the love of God Montressor!
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale door
A hideous throng rush out forever
And laugh — but smile no more.
Thank Heaven! the crisis —
The danger is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last —
And the fever called "Living"
Is conquered at last.
It is with literature as with law or empire an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.
There is no oath which seems to me so sacred as that sworn by the all-divine love I bear you. — By this love, then, and by the God who reigns in Heaven, I swear to you that my soul is incapable of dishonor — that, with the exception of occasional follies and excesses which I bitterly lament, but to which I have been driven by intolerable sorrow, and which are hourly committed by others without attracting any notice whatever — I can call to mind no act of my life which would bring a blush to my cheek — or to yours. If I have erred at all, in this regard, it has been on the side of what the world would call a Quixotic sense of the honorable — of the chivalrous.
Can it be fancied that Deity ever vindictively
Made in his image a mannikin merely to madden it?
I attacked with great resolution the editorial matter, and, reading it from beginning to end without understanding a syllable, conceived the possibility of its being Chinese, and so re-read it from the end to the beginning, but with no more satisfactory result.
Edgar Allan Poe's Biography
One the greatest and unhappiest of American poets, a master of the horror tale, and the patron saint of the detective story. Edgar Allan Poe first gained critical acclaim in France and England. His reputation in America was relatively slight until the French-influenced writers like Ambroce Bierce, Robert W. Chambers, and representatives of the Lovecraft school created interest in his work.

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents who were itinerant actors. His father David Poe Jr. died probably in 1810. Elizabeth Hopkins Poe died in 1811, leaving three children. Edgar was taken into the home of a Richmond merchant John Allan. The remaining children were cared for by others. Poe's brother William died young and sister Rosalie become later insane. At the age of five Poe could recite passages of English poetry. Later one of his teachers in Richmond said: "While the other boys wrote mere mechanical verses, Poe wrote genuine poetry; the boy was a born poet."

Poe was brought up partly in England (1815-20), where he attended Manor School at Stoke Newington. Later it become the setting for his story 'William Wilson'. Never legally adopted, Poe took Allan's name for his middle name. Poe attended the University of Virginia (1826-27), but was expelled for not paying his gambling debts. This led to quarrel with Allan, who refused to pay the debts. Allan later disowned him. In 1826 Poe became engaged to Elmira Royster, but her parents broke off the engagement. During his stay at the university, Poe composed some tales, but little is known of his apprentice works. In 1827 Poe joined the U.S. Army as a common soldier under assumed name, Edgar A. Perry. He was sent to Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, which provided settings for 'The Gold Bug' (1843) and 'The Balloon Hoax' (1844). Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827), which Poe published at his own expense, sold poorly. It has become one of the rarest volumes in American literary history. In 1830 Poe entered West Point. He was dishonorably discharged next year, for intentional neglect of his duties ? apparently as a result of his own determination to be released.

In 1833 Poe lived in Baltimore with his father's sister Mrs. Maria Clemm. After winning a prize of $50 for the short story 'MS Found in a Bottle,' he started career as a staff member of various magazines, among others the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond (1835-37), Burton's Gentleman's Magazine in Philadelphia (1839-40), and Graham's Magazine (1842-43). During these years he wrote some of his best-known stories. Southern Literary Messenger he had to leave partly due to his alcoholism.

In 1836 Poe married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm. She bust a blood vessel in 1842, and remained a virtual invalid until her death from tuberculosis five years later. When the cemetary where she was buried was destroyed, William Fearing Gill, one of Poe's earliest biographers, rescued her remains and stored them in New York in a box under his bed. Her remains were reburied in 1885.

After the death of his wife, Poe began to lose his struggle with drinking and drugs. He had several romances, including an affair with the poet Sarah Helen Whitman, who said: "His proud reserve, his profound melancholy, his unworldliness ? may we not say his unearthliness of nature ? made his character one very difficult of comprehension to the casual observer." In 1849 Poe become again engaged to Elmira Royster, who was at that time Mrs. Shelton. To Virginia he addressed the famous poem 'Annabel Lee' (1849) ? its subject, Poe's favorite, is the death of a beautiful woman.

Poe's first collection, Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, appeared in 1840. It contained one of his most famous work, 'The Fall of the House of Usher.' In the story the narrator visits the crumbling mansion of his friend, Roderick Usher, and tries to dispel Roderick's gloom. Although his twin sister, Madeline, has been placed in the family vault dead, Roderick is convinced she lives. Madeline arises in trance, and carries her brother to death. The house itself splits asunder and sinks into the tarn. The tale has inspired several film adaptations. Roger Corman's version from 1960, starring Mark Damon, Harry Ellerbe, Myrna Fahey, and Vincent Price, was the first of the director's Poe movies. The Raven (1963) collected old stars of the horror genre, Vincent Price, Peter, Lorre, and Boris Karloff. According to the director, Price and Lorre "drove Boris a little crazy" ? the actor was not used to improvised dialogue. Corman filmed the picture in fifteen days, using revamped portions of his previous Poe sets.

In Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838), Poe's longest tale, the secret theme is the terror of whiteness. Poe invented tribes that live near the Antarctic Circle. The strange bestial humans are black, even down to their teeth. They have been exposed to the terrible visitations of men and white storms. These are mixed together, and they slaughter the crew of Pym's vessel. The Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges has assumed that Poe chose the color intuitively, or for the same reasons as in Melville explained in the chapter 'The Whiteness of the Whale' in his Moby-Dick. Later the 'lost world' idea was developed by Edgar Rice Burroughs in The Land That Time Forgot (1924) and other works.

During the early 1840s, Poe's best-selling work was curiously The Conchologist's First Book (1839). It was based on Thomas Wyatt's work, which sold poorly because of its high prize. Wyatt was Poe's friend and asked him to abridge the book and put his own name on its title page ? the publisher had strongly opposed any idea of producing a cheaper edition. The Conchologist's First Book was a success. Its first edition was sold out in two months and other editions followed.

The dark poem of lost love, 'The Raven,' brought Poe national fame, when it appeared in 1845. "With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not ? they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind." (from The Raven and Other Poems, preface, 1845) In a lecture in Boston the author said that the two most effective letters in the English language were o and r ? this inspired the expression "nevermore" in 'The Raven', and because a parrot is unworthy of the dignity of poetry, a raven could well repeat the word at the end of each stanza. Lenore rhymed with "nevermore." The poems has inspired a number of artists. Perhaps the most renowed are Gustave Doré's (1832-1883) melancholic illustrations.

Poe suffered from bouts of depression and madness, and he attempted suicide in 1848. In September the following year he disappeared for three days after a drink at a birthday party and on his way to visit his new fiancée in Richmond, Virginia. On September 26 or 27, Poe left Richmond on his way to New York. He had asked his mother-in-law to send him a letter in Philadelphia addressed to the pseudonym E.S.T. Grey. Poe never reached New York. He was found in delirious condition at Ryan's inn and taverna in Baltimore. Poe died in a hospital on October 7, 1849. He was buried at the Westminster Presbyterian burial yard. Four mourners attended the funeral, conducted by Reverend William T.D. Clemm: Poe's relatives Neilson Poe and Henry Herring, his colleague Dr. Joseph Snodgrass, and his former classmate Z. Collins Lee.

Poe's work and his theory of "pure poetry" was early recognized especially in France, where he inspired Jules Verne, Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), Paul Valéry (1871-1945) and Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898). "In Edgar Poe," wrote Baudelaire, "there is no tiresome snivelling; but everywhere and at all times an indefatigable enthusiasm in seeking the ideal." In America Emerson called him "the jingle man." Poe's influence is seen in many other modern writers, as in Junichiro Tanizaki's early stories and Kobo Abe's novels, or more clearly in the development of the19th century detective novel. J.L. Borges, R.L. Stevenson, and a vast general readership, have been impressed by the stories which feature Poe's detective Dupin ('The Murders in the Rue Morgue', 1841; 'The Purloined Letter,' 1845) and the morbid metaphysical speculation of 'The Facts in the Case of M. Waldermar' (1845). Thomas M. Disch has argued in his The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of (1998) that it was actually Poe who was the originator of the modern science fiction. One of his tales, 'Mellonta Taunta' (1840) describes a future society, an anti-Utopia, in which Poe satirizes his own times. Another tales in this vein are 'The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Sceherazade' and 'A Descent into the Maelstrom'. However, Poe was not concerned with any specific scientific concept but mostly explored different realities, one of the central concerns of science fiction ever since.

In his supernatural fiction Poe usually dealt with paranoia rooted in personal psychology, physical or mental enfeeblement, obsessions, the damnation of death, feverish fantasies, the cosmos as source of horror and inspiration, without bothering himself with such supernatural beings as ghosts, werewolves, vampires, and so on. Some of his short stories are humorous, among them 'The Devil in the Belfry,' 'The Duc de l'Omelette,' 'Bon-Bon' and 'Never Bet the Devil Your Head,' all of which employ the Devil as an ironic figure of fun. ? Poe was also one of the most prolific literary journalists in American history, one whose extensive body of reviews and criticism has yet to be collected fully. James Russell Lowell (1819-91) once wrote about Poe: "Three fifths of him genius and two fifths sheer fudge."
Some rights reserved Petri Liukkonen (author) & Ari Pesonen. Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto 2008