Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
July 22nd, 2017 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 326,368 comments.
Analysis and comments on A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 
61 62 63 64 [65] 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76

Comment 114 of 754, added on February 5th, 2008 at 8:06 PM.

hey sina, i have to write a interpretation on this poem also. Can we
exchange ideas?

Comment 113 of 754, added on January 6th, 2008 at 4:43 PM.

this is simply about reality and if life is real or not.

Tay from United States
Comment 112 of 754, added on June 5th, 2007 at 8:29 AM.

Hey.....thx...I have to write a interpretation about this poem and your
opinions are very usefull....thanks a lot!!!

Comment 111 of 754, added on June 1st, 2007 at 10:32 PM.

This is a very deep poem. I first heard it in a song by Wunderkammer that
I really liked. Normally, I don't like Poe poetry, but this poem is really

Comment 110 of 754, added on May 10th, 2007 at 10:51 AM.

this is against my better judgement, but i think this is a poem. a dark one
too. very deep. i like it.

Michael from United States
Comment 109 of 754, added on November 10th, 2006 at 4:50 AM.

Jonathan Ross is dubbed "risque" by Ofcom but not in breach of rules over
an interview with David Cameron...

Darrell Anglin
Comment 108 of 754, added on April 27th, 2006 at 11:02 AM.

I'm doing a project on this poem, and it is one of my favorite ones by him.

Comment 107 of 754, added on April 25th, 2006 at 8:17 PM.

(After doing an essay on transcendentalism) I kind of get the feeling that
this isn't so much about just mortality, as it is about reality itself.
Popular thinking at the time, at least among poets and such, was that we as
humans aren't really capable of perceiving "reality"... rather we each have
our own view of it, although no two people can have the same exact view of
any one thing. I think this poem is what happened when the beloved and
depressing Poe thought too much on that, and realized that maybe there
isn't even a reality... but either way, does it matter? The first stanza
is like his accepting the concept, but the second is like he's realizing
that its a little creepy in nature and leaves us without any substance or
anything solid or secure.

Sarah from United States
Comment 106 of 754, added on April 16th, 2006 at 7:55 AM.

I have posted about the meaning of this poem before, but would like to
repost it and add some comments in response to some other comments made in

I believe this poem is Poe coming to terms with his mortality and maybe
also losing faith in God or at least questioning God. In the first two
lines, Poe is saying farewell to life, his immortality. I disagree with
the interpretation that Poe is saying goodbye to a lover. He is giving a
kiss on the brow, not the lips or the cheek. It seems a more "general"
farwell. He goes on to say, "you are not wrong, who deem, that my days
have been a dream." It seems to me that he is talking not to just one
person, but to everyone.

Some people have commented that poe was only 18 when he wrote this poem,
and therefore he was too young to be thinking about his mortality. I
disagree. It is obvious that he was very advanced in his thinking for
being so young. It is amazing that he wrote this poem at only 18 in
itself! This is also an age when more mature thinking starts to show
itself. He was in the army at this time, and in war, soldiers die, so I
think this is a perfect time for young Poe to start thinking about his
death and questioning whether God exists. When he says "you are not wrong,
who deem, that my days have been a dream.", he may be saying that his
thinking before this was dreamy and immature and that he is finally growing

His days are dreams, because they do not exist anymore. The days past are
gone. Dreams end. Life also has an end. All his days pass into
nonexistance, just like the larger "dream" of his life eventually will.
Dreams (days) within a dream (life). His previous hopes that this isn't so,
that he will always exist, that there is something more, is gone. "Hope
has flown away." and once it's gone and doubt creeps in, you can't go back
to your old thinking.

In the second stanza, nonexistance is given the form of the ocean, and his
days (or time in general, as sand is often a metphor for time in poems) are
grains of sand, that he is powerless to stop from slipping away. I think
here he wanted to give the impression and image of an hourglass. The waves
of nonexistance are stealing his days, and will eventually take all of

Even though he has accepted the fact of his mortality in the first stanza,
he still fights it in the second, pleading with God (if he exists) to save
him, to let him know that his life will not pass into the "deep" of
nothingness. He tries to hold on to just one grain of sand; just one moment
in time that will stretch forever and save him from his impending death.
He wants to believe and have hope again that his existance is not just a
dream and has purpose, so instead of stating it like at the end of the
first stanza, in desperation he asks it as a question in the second.

"Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"

Comment 105 of 754, added on April 12th, 2006 at 2:14 PM.

i am Edgar Allan Poe's like #1 fan, his poetry comes to life, he pulls you
into his fantasy with his work, i am truely astounded by the fact that
someone could write with such meaning and such grace, hear i have not such
a sweet melody, from the heart in which it came.

Danielle from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 
61 62 63 64 [65] 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76
Share |

Information about A Dream Within A Dream

Poet: Edgar Allan Poe
Poem: A Dream Within A Dream
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 513 times

Add Comment

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.

Do not post questions, pleas for homework help or anything of the sort, as these types of comments will be removed. The proper place for questions is the poetry forum.

Please note that after you post a comment, it can take up to an hour before it is visible on the website! Rest assured that your comment is not lost, so don't enter your comment again.

Comment on: A Dream Within A Dream
By: Edgar Allan Poe

Name: (required)
E-mail Address: (required)
Show E-mail Address:
Yes No
Poem Comments:

Poem Info

Poe Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links