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Comment 36 of 96, added on December 9th, 2011 at 8:47 AM.
Hello, Edgar Allan Poe
your poem is similar with
Comment 35 of 96, added on June 11th, 2010 at 8:05 AM.
I read that Edgar Allan Poe's poem, "To Helen", was inspired by Sarah Helen
Whitman, the beautiful young mother of one of Poe's boyhood friends , the
woman in the title is compared to Helen of Troy "the face that launched a
Comment 34 of 96, added on March 24th, 2009 at 5:53 PM.
In To Helen, the speaker sees pure idealized beauty, both physically and
spiritually. He thinks that she is so beautiful that that it is a relief to
just be with her and you are calmed by her extraordinary beauty. She has
beautiful hair and a classic face, and her inner beauty is also tremendous.
The speaker sees Helen as very poised and perfect and ideal. The words that
characterize the beauty most clearly are ‘gently’, ‘perfumed’, ‘hyacinth
hair’, ‘classic face’, ‘statuelike’, and ‘brilliant’.
2. The speaker says that Helen’s beauty has ‘brought me home/ To the glory
that was Greece/ And the grandeur that was Rome’ because Poe had opened the
poem with the simile “Helen, thy beauty is to me / Like those Nicean barks
of yore” and this compares the beauty of Helen, with small sailing boats
(barks) that took travelers home in ancient times. He extends this boat
imagery into the lines above, when he says Helen brought him home to the
shores of these great civilizations, classical Greece and Rome. Helens
beauty inspires the speaker and calms him to a great extent. Just her
presence is a blessing to him and being with her gives the speaker relief.
3. The words or phrases that make the reader believe that Helen may not be
an actual person are in stanza two, where the speaker says that she has
‘hyacinth hair’ and a ‘classic face’. This is where the poem begins to
describe her immense beauty. Later on in the poem, in stanza three, the
speaker compares Helen (Mrs. Stanard) to Psyche, who infact wasn’t a real
woman, but from Greek mythology.
Savannah from United States
Comment 33 of 96, added on February 10th, 2009 at 5:15 AM.
the poem is so so difficult and hard to be understood please help us we
need some analysis because we are lost the teacher 'll punish us. please
reply us as soon as you can
souma and nouna from Taiwan
Comment 32 of 96, added on January 1st, 2009 at 10:15 AM.
Erin was a great help in understanding this poem. Some of you should take
her example and just go by the poetry. And you should stop trying to find
out who exactly the poem is about because if you stay focused on
discovering the subject of the poem, you will miss what Poe is actually
trying to communicate. Also, please try to stay factual in your comments
and stay away from posting your personal opinions. Don't get me wrong,
personal opinions are great, but they confuse people like me who are truly
trying to understand the poetry. All in all, I'd like to thank all of you
for trying to help people understand the poem better. Alot of your
information helped me with my poetry response on "To Helen" by Poe. Thanks
Ava from United States
Comment 31 of 96, added on June 26th, 2008 at 2:58 AM.
I think "To Helen" is a nice poem . But whenever I am going to read it for
exam it becomes a boring one to me .I find some similarities between "To
Helen" and "Bonolotha sen"."Bonolotha Sen" is written by Gibonanondo Das .
He is a bengali poet . OK I can't find anything else to write . Oh God just
save me from the Allan Poe .BYE.
Comment 30 of 96, added on October 3rd, 2007 at 8:05 PM.
The poem is hard to be understood due to my eastern background.i'm not
familiar with the myths of Greece,but Helen was so famous for her beauty
which lighted ten years war fire of Troy. The poem was inspired,as poe
admitted,by Mrs.Jane Stanard.who died in 1824 when Allan was at the age of
fifteen. Poe called her" the first purely idasl love of my soul", the draft
of the poem was wroten when Poe was fourteen and rigorous revisions had
been made before it first published in 1831. maybe the personal emotion of
young poet was almost sublimated in the idealization of the supernal beauty
in art which Poe had always insisted untill his death in 1849
Comment 29 of 96, added on April 24th, 2007 at 4:53 PM.
Actually Arielle is correct, the poem is in fact about Helen of Troy. I am
not saying that there could not be some underlying meaning in the poem but
on the AP exam the graders stated..."The following poem is about Helen of
Troy...Renowned in teh ancient world for her beauty Helen was the wife of
Menelaus, A Greek king..etc."
Jocylin from United States
Comment 28 of 96, added on April 4th, 2007 at 9:00 AM.
why does he use the w..like i know its a repetitive words..with w? but why
ang from United States
Comment 27 of 96, added on March 13th, 2007 at 11:06 PM.
erin helped a lot, thanks...
now about the subject....there's never a concrete answer, has anyone ever
considered that a poem is layered with an obvious meaning and other
meanings at the same time....yea it's about helen, the college board says
so anyway...but if it were ONLY about helen then it wouldn't be classic
poetry, it'd be a poem about helen....the underlying themes and purposes
are left to interpretation and only poe could tell us who it was
about...but instead of finding a specific person who could be the subject,
generalizations will get you closer to the theme of the poem and will give
you a more universal sense of its meaning and significance....so yeah
shinny from United States
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