Poetry Corner: "Alone" by Edgar Allen Poe

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

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. 
Then — in my childhood — in the dawn 
Of a most stormy life — was drawn 
From ev'ry 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 roll'd 
In its autumn tint of gold — 
From the lightning in the sky 
As it pass'd 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.

- Edgar Allen Poe

How beautiful -- and haunting -- is this poem? I came across it while reading Nevermore by Kelly Creagh (review coming Friday) and have been unable to get it from my mind ever since. I dabbled in reading a few Poe stories in high school, and I am now intrigued by the man and his writings once again. This poem is so desperate with loneliness, yet full of beauty as well. 

(I feel frivolous adding this last comment, but the scene in Nevermore when Varen reads this poem to Isobel is the most romantic scene I have ever read. I literally had butterflies to rival my first kiss when I read it.)


  1. Yeah, this a a really great example of some of Poe's better poems. It is a hauntingly introspective look into the mind and makeup of Poe--the poor tortured soul that he was. Thanks for sharing this, it was well worth reading it again. Cheers! Chris

  2. I've been reading Poe's short stories on my way home from work every day. I don't know if I've ever read so many in quick succession like this before—I like them, but I think I need a break from all the crazy.

  3. @Chris - This is actually one of three Poe poems I have read (the others being Annabel Lee and The Raven) and I am intrigued to read more. I feel like I can just hear his voice crying out in this one.

    @Allison - Haha yes I agree with you! i've only read a few, but I don't think I could read more than one or two at a time because they are so dark.


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