Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow–
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.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand–
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep–while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Allan Poe's poem A Dream Within A Dream


  1. Bill Gates says:

    Yes, this is so true! =)

  2. Emile Moelich says:

    A good poem is what the poet see or seem of a dream within a dream.
    This is one example.

  3. amsdenrams says:

    below country number frozen

  4. diamontina says:

    societies president extinctions running issue impact beginning

  5. Subrata Ray says:

    Poe is more a mystic than a dreamer .He appears to be a pet of America , but his true stand is a reflector .
    The present poem deals with life and its conflict between the Great-unknown and the least apparently known.
    Man’s effort of securing the sand proves a failure , for
    he can not captivate the beauty of his youthful mistress, and his effort of realizing the fragments of his hopes get lost in the friction of Time .
    In this poem the mystic in Poe rejects , Poe the dreamer .
    Subrata Ray .Mousumi para .Uluberia .West Bengal .India .

  6. nicola says:

    i adore this poem as i think it is really rather deep and meaningful and the fact that there are so many different interpretations to come of it.

    when i first read this poem i assumed (like the majority) that he was talking of a lover but on re-read after re-read i began to realise that he could be talking to a lover, but also to himself. as it seems he is saying goodbye to either his own life or a lover. the simple fact that he is talking about dreams here shows some confusion of wether things can really ever leave for good if life is jus one long dream ” is it therefore the less gone?”. it is implying that life itself is a dream and that nobody is really here it is just a figment of our imagination.

    the 2nd stanza again (like many) on first read i thought he was talking of hope to see a loved one again. as i re-read i began to realise that he could also be watching helplessly as his last days pass him by. his last days before his dream dies as he dies with his dream. with this dream comes memories so even if he was talking about his time to leave he may be wishing that his memories could die with him and not disappear one by one as his life, story and dream comes to an end.

  7. Dwayne Carter says:

    I once slept with poe

  8. Chelsea says:

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

  9. dayday says:

    community in the it’s name had probably pruning were about crashing down the wild stretching

  10. Tay says:

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

  11. Sina says:

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

  12. Susie says:

    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 thought-provoking.

  13. Michael says:

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

  14. Darrell Anglin says:

    Jonathan Ross is dubbed “risque” by Ofcom but not in breach of rules over an interview with David Cameron…

  15. Star says:

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

  16. Sarah says:

    (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.

  17. Sam says:

    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 response.

    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 up.

    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 them.

    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?”

  18. Danielle says:

    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.

  19. jesus says:

    This is an inspring poem in many ways!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. bobby says:

    this is a great poem! Yahoo!

  21. LORRIE says:


  22. Leif Ericson says:

    Of Course this poem is beautiful, in a melancholic sort of way, but then pain can be a beautiful thing. I do not have a great understanding for poetry, i thing that i am atempting to rectify. However it is my opinion that those who spend there time looking to much into the poems meaning to the author and not at the poems meaning to ones self are not truely savoring the beauty of the words. That is not to say that Poes meaning is not important, just that true poetry speaks to everyone in a different way and should be apreciated be everyone differently, but the general idea should be the same. For a school project i understand. But for those who study to much into the poems backround and not enough time into the poems depth you really are learning nothing of life, love, pain and all things that make life worth living, which is what poetry is all about

  23. candace says:

    i think that this poem is very well writen. you have your oppinions… some nice and some crude… this poem is like a love poem so i believe it is nice.

  24. Des says:

    I am a 7th grader and doing a project on this for my language class. I think that poem is questioning his meaning and mortality. He joined the military the same year that he wrote this poem. Does anybody know the exact date this poem was written cuz’ I could use this in my interpretation if he wrote it b4 he joined the army! Thanks

  25. Helga says:

    I do not believe that the last stanza is dealing with memories at all. I believe that the “golden sand” that is slipping through his hand is his hopes and dreams. Through his loss in the first stanza he has come to realize that we all must die, and in turn lose our hopes and dreams to this death. He tries to grasp his hopes and dreams with a tighter clasp, but you cannot deny death, as it is unavoidable, so in turn, no matter what, we all must lose our hopes and dreams. Therefore our life really is a dream within a dream, because it eventually ends and we “wake up.”

  26. Brian says:

    This poem is sexy in every way possible

  27. Lucy says:

    i think that this poem is about love. the love between a woman and her dildo.

  28. noname says:

    it is clear that the morale of this story is loss is inevitable, but the only one aspect that is unknown to many is, loss of what? Is it loss of life, loss of love, loss of power, memory? All of these themes are extremely convincing and could be the very meaning that Poe intended it to be.

  29. hihihihihihihihihih says:

    alc had posted that this poem was written in 1827 but i was realy written in 1849 during the gold rush and after his wife died in 1847. so i belive that this poem was dedicated to his wife virginia. in false hope that he could sve his wife virginia.

  30. hihihihihihihihihi says:

    I think ‘Dream Within a Dream’ is a deeply sad and tragic poem that causes me to hurt for the writer. I think that it expresses more than just the loss or grief that we all must experience, but rather an unfathomable grief over a deeper eternal loss. An existential pain in a profoundly empty universe.

    He fears life is no more substantial than a dream and as impossible to return to. Not a grain of it can he keep from slipping away into the dark abyss.

    I think of his poem, ‘The Raven, ‘ where he asks – in effect – if his soul will ever find relief from the great losses of his life. And the raven always replies, ‘NEVERMORE! ‘.

    I don’t believe that to be true. I believe we will someday be reunited with those we have long ago loved. I believe there is a place of no regrets. I believe there is a place, as author Frederick Buechner puts it, where all that is lost will be found.

    At the end of our lives, I believe that will be the deepest yearning of all.

  31. plz!notmyname! says:

    I’m also a seventh grader!!! Why seventh grade!!! We’re TOO YOUNG!!! Anways, it took me one day to figure it all out. This is truely a BRILLIANT work of art. And I think this poem is about hope and how the few golden grains of sand is his hope and still he can’t hold on to them. And mabybe he’s talking to his wife or someone. Since I know that he had lost a lot of loved ones…

  32. Christian says:

    im in 7th grade and i have a huge project due on friday.i think this is a this is a beautiful poem and i agree that its not about memories

  33. Drew says:

    I think this poem is really interesting… what i dont understand is the the whole idea of “Hope”. He is asking if hope has departed at any time, is it gone or not? and then he refers to the line “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
    While other’s see the next stanza as memories passing by, i think the connotation of sand slipping through his fingers could be also referred to as time. Stating that he doesn’t have much time left because he is either leaving or is dieing. I think that he is stating that he really doesn’t know when it is his time to go but is it going to be real or just “a dream within a dream?”

  34. andrea says:

    hi my name is Andrea im in 7th grade and i have to do a project on this poem and i think that this poem is about how this guy is saying goodbye to his loved ones and his life. and he is saying that he cant hold on to his memories and he cant remember anything any more but he wants to and he thinks that all his life was a dream and he will wake up every one will wake up.

  35. jaonna says:

    Hi my name is JaOnna Woodard and I live in California and i just wanted to let you now that your poem is so great it help me realize that when you love some one you should always ley them know that or thell be like air in a balloon and fade away

  36. andy says:

    this poem is about this guys life and how he thinks that it is all a dream and maybe just one day hr will wake up. and maybe this guy was a drunkin idiot but he is really briliant when it comes to poetry. i love this poem

  37. paul says:

    i’m in the 8th grade too, I have to do this huge poetry project too, does anyone have ms. milin or ms.leapfried?

  38. paul says:

    I think this poem is about saying goodbye, because he knows that all his days will be gone, then thay will all turn into dreams or memerories, then in the second stanza, he begins to talk about how he is losing all of his memerories. Some people might think that this is about losing everyone around him because of the diseases going around, then in the next stanza it makes it seem like he is trying to save all of these people.

  39. Dayna says:

    I’m in eighth grade and we did this HUGE poetry project. One of the things I had to do was paraphrase a poem and this was the one I did. I don’t remember everything I put, however, I remember that I thought this poem was about memories. Especially with the second stanza and the references to sand slipping through his fingers like memories being lost. I dunno.

  40. elif says:

    I agree with all Poe_lovers.I don’t think that we have the right to throw our negative comments to whomever it may stick to.Life is not easy for everyone.we don’t also have the right to judge either life itself or the owners of it.If you don’t get what a poem says then mind your own business(if you have of course)

  41. Kristina says:

    The people who think this man is a drunken fool are fools themselves. If they cannot understand the deep meaning of this peom written with extream understanding then they dont have the right to out down the extrodinary man that wrote it.
    The poem beggins to say that he has been living in a fantisy but the fantisy is now over and must say goodbye, and he starts to think that what if life is just a dream and one day we might all just wake up. Our lives on this earth could just all be a dream 14 or 20 or 50 years long, then we could wake up one day and see that it may just be one night that we slept trhough dreaming of what we belive is life

  42. Mi says:

    True, he was a drunken man who was probably called an idiot and a madman on many an occassion. But he was truly a brilliant man. The fact that a person may not understand his sophisticated language, the symbolism in his poems, and everything and anything else about him is a fault of your own; it’s not your right to criticise him so harshly. And about him marrying his cousin; it was a common thing to do in the States at that time, especially in Virginia, if I’m not mistaken.

  43. John says:

    I feel sorry for people who don’t understand a poem and respond by calling the poet stupid. I can understand your frustration, but that’s your problem not his. Anyway, it’s really quite simple. Our lives and the material universe of which we’re a part are just illusions. The Hindus call it maya. They also blieve that the only real thing is God in whose mind the drama plays out. To many this is a joyous thing like a dance which has no point except the fun of it all, but Poe did have a melancholic tendency and tended to see the negative side of everything.

  44. stephanie says:

    I like this poem. he shows you he cares and he cares so much that he even wants to save the sand from the tide. he is an emotional wreck but he can turn terrible things into a strange but nice poem you can relate to.

  45. wen says:

    this poem has so much spirit that i love it

  46. Stef says:

    haha i dont care what anyone says about him except for i agree with all the ones that said he a drunk retard!!! hell yeh he doesnt now poetry i mean im in 8th grade i can write a better one then him haha lol

  47. jeana says:

    Freedom of speech, ha i think not.
    this is stupid edgar allen poe was drunk
    that married his cousin. moments of happiness brought him pain. its bcuz he did drugs obviously.

  48. Nosika says:

    I have read, read, and read, this poem. Granted knowing that some English teachers dont get it, makes me feel better. However, my feelings and understandings of this poem are confusing;in a sense i am lost. I have picked this poem because of my fisrt impression, unfourtunately, the mroe i read it the more im not sure.
    I believe that Por is talking about life in general even though alot are saying that it is about losing a loved one or loved ones.
    In the end i say to myself that everone has different ideas about this poem and that no wich one is wrong nor right. Someone said it best that youo would jsut ahve to know what Poe was going through and thinking of.
    I do like the definitions given about the metaphores in this poem.
    I guess generally everyone is right and everyone is wrong..lol!

  49. brett (the one with the beard) says:

    this poem makies me wunna sing and hold my dog in the air i love this poem like anerd loves math

  50. jonathan meadows says:

    i think that poe was trying to express his sadness for all those people that cant understand his poems cause there idiots. he was expressing his mental anguish wich was an effect of all the loss of loved ones he has suffered from and alll have died of T.B. and other various ailments i feel bad for all you stupid people that dont unerstand what poe was trying to say and may god take pity upon you mothers soul

  51. Jace says:

    This is a beautiful poem that requires effort to read between the lines and appreciate the beauty in the message of the words.
    The first verse is talking about him kissing another goodbye on the eyebrow, and his parting words is to tell that person that he acknowledges that the other is not wrong is stating that his days ‘have been a dream’, meaning he had been living in another world, so to say, building sandcastles in the air and going after an impossible notion. And yet, he refutes by saying that the other is not all right, because he asks if hope has fled, no matter the time frame, does it mean it has disappeared completely? The last two lines holds the theme of the poem. He states clearly, that everthing ‘we see or seem’, ‘is but a dream within a dream’, indicating that everything is a dream; a wish we habour in our hearts.
    The second verse outlines his thought process over the matter, ending with a question directed towards his first statement ‘all that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream’, thusly shaking the steady foundation upon which that idea stood. The word choice is exceedingly deliberate and well chosen if you can spot it. ‘I stand amid the roar’ signifies the thudering confusion going on in his head and his uncertainty in the world, and ‘surf-tormented shore’ shows that he feels depressed and discouraged by torment, be in self-inflicted or by others. ‘…golden sand’ employs the concensus attached to ‘golden’, that is, purity and value. The sands represent the opportunities in life, and ‘…how few!’ shows what he thinks of how often they come by. ‘…creep…to the deep’ dictate that the opportunities move slowly and silently past you so you don’t realise it till they are gone, and ‘to the deep’ tells that they are so far gone they could no longer be retrieved. He rallies a cry of despair, asking why he could not have caught them with a ‘tighter clasp’, voicing his displeasure at having lost them and not being able to ‘save one from the pitiless wave’. ‘Pitiless’ shows the cruelty of those who tear the opportunity from him, and ‘wave’ brings to mind the image of a overbearing rush of torrent that one is helpless against. These two words highlight the futility of the cry for the lost ‘sand’. He ends by showing how this experience, personified by an occurence of sand falling from his hand into the vast ocean, has rocked what he once thought certain.
    This is merely what I think his is trying to say, and hope that this may help others better understand the poem.

  52. Brett says:

    this poem is extremly brilliant and reaches out to you if you just take the time to sit back and really take it in. Poetry is an exellent way of expressing your self and I think everyone should at least give it a try!!!!!!!

  53. Gabrielle says:

    I really liked this poem because we know that edgar allan poe really suffers a lot in his life, just as he says he weeps and weeps, not understanding with has all his life ruined.

  54. No Name says:

    I need to research this poem for a project and it’s really hard. I dont understand it too much and I think I might fail this project. damn!

  55. lingling says:

    i’m doing a report on dis poem n its confusing me…to me this poem is about edgar allen poe saying good bye to a loved one. den he is questioning/wondering if life is\ just a dream that comes and goes…next he goes on about how he is surrounded by louds sounds and how he trys to hold on to he’s loved ones as well as he can..but still they leave.. so he is standing there crying and crying wanting them to come bac.. wut i dont get it the line “a dream within a dream”

  56. someone says:

    well i dont really understand this but it sounds beautiful!

  57. Betsy says:

    whatever, don’t care about this poem, it is STUPID,
    you poem likers out there, get on with your life and get OVER poems. poems are like, sooooooo pointless…..

  58. stephi says:

    i don’t know the meaning of this poem, but i love it, and just the way it sounds

  59. kaitlynn says:

    i REALLY like this poem,it reaches out to me ALL the way.its well thought out as in the fact that it can reach to ,lost lovers,and to life slipping away.i think that he was writeing this in a time of grayness in his life.

  60. stafiny lee says:

    I think everyone has his first love or first dream,but it didn’t come to you as expect.so we might sign of it and look for a new one.i think feeling bad of loss means you can take good care of what you own and what you will own.i don’t think everything you want you can grasp,so treasure the things you have,and you are rich.

  61. Jezrael Renz Suhillo says:

    The poem is really great at all.Actually I have already memorized some lines on this certain poem.. I salute the ever greatest poet, Edgar Allan Poe… Salamat sa pagiging inspirasyon para sa aming Pilipino.

  62. arturo says:

    pinche poema mas fumaroloque bueno que este wey ya esta muerto

  63. ALC says:

    PS: This poem was written in 1827 and Poe was born in 1809 so he was only 18. He was very physically fit and described as egotistical by some. So the theory of this poem being about him trying to hang on to a life slipping by seems premature. It’s true he was forced to leave his first true love around this time. She soon gave up on writing to him after they seperated and married another. Hence her love was but a dream. But he made the poem very in general on purpose. He knew it had a universal meaning. Yes all your theories are right but none of them are wide enough to encompass the whole poem. He’s saying everything is really a dream and our own projected idea of everything is but another dream within that dream.

  64. ALC says:

    The poem takes place (Hypothetically) after his death as he stands on the shore between here and the here-after. “kiss upon the brow” means take this little piece of wisdom. He’s probably speaking to just plain old us. What does dream within a dream mean?
    Imagine someone wants to be famous. That’s thier dream.
    They then discover that fame was an illusion, that it slipped away like sand in your hand. Then fame itself was but a dream, an illusion. Hence they’re dreaming of a dream. Fame then is a dream within a dream. This can be attached to endless other subjects besides fame.
    ie. Money, love, art etc. It’s possible he may have been thinking in quantum physics a lifetime before the science was born.

  65. me says:

    maybe the poem is about him leaving his lover because he is doesnt want her to go through what he is going through. He questions lifes reality and why cant he save life from slipping away

  66. nickalos muckleroy says:

    this poem reaches me all the way to my soul and thats good. losing everyone you love thats sad.

  67. Charlotte McIlroy says:

    I liked this poem “A Dream within a Dream” because it had rhyming words in it and it is different to other poems I have read and I liked the bit were it said “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.”
    I would recommend this Poem to a friend because it rhymes and it is about Dream within Dreams.

  68. KARLA says:

    In the first stanza I believe that Poe is saying good-bye to a loved one. This person seems to judge Poe as a dreamer. Poe asserts that he is a dreamer and that without this characteristic life would be hopeless for him. He believes that everything around us is a “dream within a dream”. In other words he is saying that by dreaming we start believing on those dreams and eventually turn them into reality. Moreover, in this first stanza Poe repeats the ending of the last word of every two or three sentences , for example, deem and dream, away and day, and none and gone. This repetition adds rhythm to the poem and emphasizes the last word of each sentence.
    In the second stanza Poe uses figurative language. In the first paragraph he illustrates himself “amid the roar” of a tormented shore, while he holds “grains of the golden sand”. The grains of sand represent the dreams that he is holding on to, while everything around him is a tormented scene, which represent the world of those who have no dreams. He continues by describing how those few “grains of sand” creep deeply within him, just as his dreams do as well. He finishes questioning God about the reality of those dreams.

  69. Brittain says:

    I believe that Poe meant by this poem was that you can not keep grasp of a person and save from something like making the wrong choice by force, because they will soon anough fall from reach and choice something different(But it depends on the person and how they look at it. ‘Cuz I saw it many different ways when i read it so this is just one of my thoughts. Yep, yep, yep.)Well, that’s all. Bye peoples.

  70. Tiffany Dunham says:

    Hey you wrote a great poem and i expire your thoughts and how you are such a great poet.so id like to say thanks for this/and thanks for sharring it with everyone.

  71. blazer says:

    Although short this poem contains crucial point of edgar’s life. We all know what it was like full of grief and sorrow. He probably wanted his life to be just a dream which he could easily awake from and live his life normally

  72. Alice says:

    Thank you Sam for your analogy. Its refreshing to read your thoughts of Poe.

  73. Mysza91 says:

    piękny wiersz. Zrozumiałam 🙂 kiedy go przetłumaczyłam na polski. Może znjade jakieśinne twoje wiersze
    Baeutiful poem. I understood when I transleted them Polish. Maybe I’ll find your different poems. If I have maid some mistake, I’m sorry… See Ya

  74. Edgar Hix says:

    It seems to me that Poe’s heavy rhyme works best in his longer-lined poems and poems with varied line length, “The Bridal Ballad” being an exception to this. For me, the rhyme makes the lines feel choppy and when I read them outloud, as I love to do with Poe, the sound seems to overpower the image.

  75. Curtis Stang says:

    This poem is quite good. In the first stanza Poe is talking about a loved one. The rest of the poem goes on to say he is living in a ” dreamworld.” this says to me that Poe has lost all passion and his life now seems meaningless. Like a dream.

  76. Ryan says:

    This is an incredibly meaning poem. I agree fully with sam on this one. He analized this poem with amazing detail what whith the sand metaphore, and the emtire first stanza. He hase a very true and rare gift.

  77. xavier says:

    i think he expresses himself with the use of cannibas not alchol. marijuana just isnt socially accepted its a shame. (don’t blame me if i missspelled somethingd im stonedt)

  78. John says:

    This poem is about life and how quick death creeps upon us. Poe uses the sand to act as life when he states about how quick it creeps through his hand.

  79. Mia says:

    I think this poem is very sad about isn’t every thing we see nothing but a dream? It’s coo

  80. Jordan says:

    What would you say Poe’s poetic style was? Meaning did he use rhythm, rhyme, rhyme scheme, figurative language, etc.

  81. Marychelo says:

    A very expressive and sad poem…I believe Poe was a very sad man who wanted the world to understand his inner-emotions. He probably became an alcoholic because he felt he can express himself better without having to deal with reality. I believe the effects of the alcohol was speaking to him that brought out his ways of thinking and feelings.

  82. Hannah says:

    In the first stansa of this poem, Edger is expresing his sadness for a loved one who has gone away. The second stansa could be interpreted in many difrent ways. obviusly the waves and sand represent something, some people think the sand is his life, or his dreams, or maby his memories, but I think they are all of the people that were close to him. In Poe’s life he lost many members of his famly and his wife to an illness. He was also a drunk and was always looking for someone to love after his wife died. This would suport my conclusion about this poem.

  83. Nikki says:

    I think that this is one of Poe’s best poems.

  84. cara mobley says:

    The poem i just read was a great poem i have read alot of poems from different poets but this one i really enjoyed it has alot of potential and its not like the others i have read.

  85. Sam says:

    I believe this poem is Poe coming to terms with his mortality. 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. Now, you could say this is for rhyming purposes (brow and now), but I like to think this was more purposeful. 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.

    His days are dreams, because they do not exist anymore. The days past are gone and now only memories, or dreams. All his days pass into nonexistance, just like the larger “dream” of his life eventually will. Dreams within a dream. His previous hopes that this isn’t so, that he will always exist, that there is something more, is gone.

    In the second stanza, nonexistance is given the form of the ocean, and his days 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 them.

    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 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?”

  86. Sergio Cerda Lira says:

    I’m from Chile and I’m studing for being an english teacher. I had to chose one of Poe’s poems for an activity and I think this one is really deep. may be you can imagine that Poe is talking about his wife or love (r), but the thing is Poe wants to make people think about what they have in order to enjoy it and make them realize about the importance of living every moment as the last one.

  87. kell says:

    you rimed really good but you poem wasnt that good its not one of them poems you would read over and over aguien you can hardly understand it.

  88. stephanie says:

    i think that he is simply trying to say that he has been living in a dream and not really doing what he wants to do or what seems right to him and now hes moving on

  89. Susan says:

    Poe accurately describes the feeling of leaving one’s
    dearest friends and lovers, perhaps never to rejoin with them again. I have often wondered whether all of our dreams ‘grains of sand’ must ultimately leave us. As we get older and ‘wiser’ we leave behind the true wisdom of our youth, squandering love and truth for materialism. In middle age we look back and question ourselves harshly for making such
    foolish decisions. Poe, ever the depressive, genius alcoholic, understood this to the depths of his soul as THE American poet.
    His incessant questioning of himself, and his attempts to live and understand life in all of it’s aspects, ultimately led to his demise in a rainy gutter. To my mind this poem stands as a warning that we must
    live our lives deeply and with passion. The sands sift and fall quickly never to be regained.

  90. Mel says:

    I wanted to provide an analysis…it is pretty sad that this poem is above an English teacher’s head. Although it could mean different things to each of us, the theme is consistent. In the first few lines he is obviously parting from someone(i would say a lover), he or the lover possibly offered words of comfort or bitterness(depends on how interpreted), that their relationship and memories have all been just a dream(or like a dream). All their memories have “flown away in a night” and in that case it all seems hopeless. In the next few line he is asking if the loss should be less if all of it was only a dream? The next few lines are easy, the surf tormented shore is his life, and the sand symbolizes precious memories that slip away, as he tries desperately to hold on to them, not letting life(the waves) pull them away. And he questions again(with a ray of hope because this time he poses it as a question and not a statement like in the first paragraph) whether its all really just a dream. Your feedback would be appreciated.

  91. Erin says:

    I absolutly love this poem! I have it posted on my wall! This poem discribes me in like so many different ways it is just unbelieveable!

  92. Rynell says:

    This poem is REAL deep. I think that this poem reflects on the loss of his wife. And it really shows how deep it hurt him to think that he had to let go of the one that truly loved him. I really like this one.

  93. sandy says:

    I first read this poem when I was in my 30’s and was immediately affected by the sadness and loneliness of the writer. From the first verse ‘take this kiss upon the brow’ shows that he is leaving someone that he loves deeply. The relationship has broken up because he cannot hold onto it – like the sand it slipped through his fingers and he was but living in a dream, as we all are. It is profound and moving to say the least, a great piece of work and one I shall always remember.

  94. Donna says:

    When I read this poem, the first thing I got out of it was that when Edgar wrote it, he was saying that you live like your life is a dream. You don’t really live it like you are supposed too. I like the poem, don’t get me wrong. But you are supposed to live your life the way you want to. Live your life to the fullest.

  95. fllnstr18 says:

    I like this poem. It is truly deep. Poe lived a miserable life from his step parents to his fiance he never married. His life was so sad. I pity him, and I love his works, too. He is a great writer. ^_^

  96. Heather M. says:

    This Poem Is Just So BEAUTIFUL!!!!! And it seems so true when it says hcant save one froma wave.

  97. looie says:

    you know this would be a great poem if i could read it but huh yea i cant so i guess ill talk to ya later or something

  98. YaYa says:

    To here all of ur comments about saying “I love it” and for you trying to understand it is not being fair. To understand this poem completely one must understand Poe’s life. He lead one with mayn financial problems and maybe that is why his poem is about the mechanicalism of nature.

  99. chelsea says:

    this is a great poem and a great man. i admire him so much

  100. emily says:

    this is a great poem… I dont know if I like it as well as I do Annabel Lee, But it’s close. Well I would love to hear of more stuf about Edgar Allan Poe…

  101. Jessie says:

    i love this poem and alwyas have from the first time i read it….he is such a wonderful writer

  102. jp morella says:

    i have read it only twice which is not enough for poe..i learned as a young student that i must read poe many times for me to get the most out of it..this poem to me means that since our real moments are constantly fleeing by us and become immediately a thing of the past, that our life is surreal in a sense like a dream…we really can’t hold on to anything forever like the sand pouring through his hands and quickly vanishing…everything is in a constant flow of vanishing so it is like a dream–yes our lives in a way is like one surreal moment after another..i.e. like a dream within a dream——

  103. Starlah says:

    that was a really good poem, i thought it was gonna be another happy, fluttering poem, because i utterly despise those kinds, but then i read this and now I’m gona read more Edgar Allen Poe

  104. mel says:

    I have read this poem before and every time i read it i seem to love it more than the time before. I LUV IT!!! i kinda dont get it but i think thats why i like it so much!

  105. lizzy zaloudek says:

    i love this poem i think i will show her it cause i am in the poetry section for english..

  106. Cherie says:

    I really think that Poe is an awesome writer. This poem makes you think about what he is talking about. I really like that. I really like this poem, Poe is one of my top 5 favorite writers.

  107. S.E.E. says:

    Such an awesome poem, truely wonderful, it is so cool the work Poe did and how it touches people so deeply.
    Just unreal almost how great Poe’s poems are. WOW!

  108. Chris says:

    That slipping through his fingers..could be his loved ones? Many people close to him did die, that is why he weeps.

  109. K.F. says:

    i believe this poem is saying that you can’t change destiny. you can’t fix what is meant to happen.

  110. ~*Holly*~ says:

    that was an awsome poem … best of all i actually understood it ! WOW !! i never ever seem to understand any of edgar allen poes poems ….

  111. Rachel says:

    I really don’t get this poem — it’s pretty sad b/c i’m a teacher. I teach PAP and AP English in high school, but I still don’t get this poem at all! It’s really deep, I can tell, but it is too deep, you know what I’m saying?
    Anyways… people that are confused about this poem, just think of me. I’m an english teacher and I don’t even get this poem lol

  112. B.E. says:

    Dont we all simply are living, (dont take this bluntly) but, A Dream Within A Dream? Maybe so, but i dont know

  113. Nicholas says:

    You think it is just a boring poem but read at least 2 times and you will see how deep and meaningful this poem really is. This is one of those poems that kinda is telling us what happened in his life. It is also telling us what has happened we can’t really reverse. We can’t grasp the things that has pasted. And what is now, is all we can hold onto.

  114. gladys says:

    i love this poem and i love to know more about this person edger allan poe.

  115. Rosanna says:

    W O W ! I LUV IT !!

  116. Heather says:

    This is a beautiful poem that reflects many characteristics of romantic literature. It puts heavy emphasis on nature which is one of the major points of romanticism. It is well written in the melanchololy style that is Poe’s style.

  117. Mitchell says:

    This is one of my favorite poems, but of its metaphysical undertones. Typical of the genius that was Poe, he used is emotions about the person he was addressing to convery a deeper and more penetrating question…..that is, our lives are really just dreams and we exist in a universe that at times does not seem real. Many people experience this feeling where they cannot tell their waking life from that of their sleeping or dream life. Its quite a profound and powerful poem and touches me very deeply and every human spirit in that moment in time when we realize we are both mortal, and our time in this world is so short and that sense of haunting timeless that drives our lives is a very real and universla feeling we all experience between the joyous distractions that fill the days of our live. Thats what this poem means to me

    Mitchell Stokely – USA

  118. Thornberry, James says:

    this is a fantastic and tuching poem beyond the ordinary. This is truly the best i’ve ever heard, read it sevaral times and enjoy! just a little piece of advice from

  119. kiran says:

    this is awesum poetry , i appreciate the poet’s work !!
    nd bless god me so tht even i get such beautiful words 2 express my self. thnx

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