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 loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every 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 rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed 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.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Alone

42 Comments

  1. That one boy says:

    Very nice poem. Thanks to Mr. Banger… Youll never know wh this is.

  2. Adam says:

    I disagree that the second half of the poem is off track. I think it’s fairly obvious that in the first half the narrator considers himself unique and emotionally different than his peers. But the realization he has at the end…delivered beautifully in the last two lines…is that he is not merely different, but possibly evil. The mystery of his life will be wrestling with this demon on the horizon that presumably will get closer and closer.

  3. Ryan says:

    This poem could not be about the death of Poe’s wife because she died after he wrote it nor is the poem about him being different. It is a general narrator meaning it could be anyone. The message that the poem is trying to get across is that when you realize you are different that seems to be all you can see(the demon) and you never seem to pay attention to the beautiful things.

  4. bb says:

    The first 8 lines are wonderful–real, sincere, vivid. Then he tried to make it better and ruined it. The lesson is “less is more.”

  5. Graeme says:

    This poem is revealing to Poe’s life. The man was such a powerful writer and his work continues to be an inspiration to me, but this poem in itself unlocked so much for me. It also show’s his own personaly feelings towards the lose of his parents. I have lost my family and i feel that there is no one left to listen to my tears fall from my eyes. To read this was almost better then anything i have ever read, it explained so much, thanks for reading this, Peace

  6. caroline says:

    alone . it describes how i feel … I have the feeling he wrote it for me .. But he didnt . he justs wrote how he saw his chilhood , his personal feeling for the life . alone . tha’ts how he feel , but in a sens everybody is alone . Isnt true ? even your are with a lot of people your are alone . alone with yourself . that’s the perception i have . like edgar , i am strange too and mysterious . i see myself in him . anyway , no more comments .

  7. Kayla Haskins says:

    I believe that I truly understand the meaning of Poe’s “Alone”. I have to write an introduction to this poem and some of these comments have helped me put my thoughts into words,

  8. alice says:

    I believe: certainly not written to ‘tell’ people how to feel, or to invite unecessary suggestions that most people feel the same. Poe is allowing us to see his unique emotion; it is not meant to represent universal human need, only his. Very special.

  9. Briana says:

    This poem is so touching. I had a speech project due and i was looking for a good poem and i found it. If u have not read this poem u should. It’s one of the best i have ever read!! – – Bri

  10. karena prescott says:

    this poem explains how i feel when i’m alone. i love to read edgers poems! they are imaginative and powerful!

  11. Elan says:

    The poem Alone describes the realization of personal truth. When Poe (the outcast)first comes to the conclusion that he is different from the rest. The poem expresses the depression and the fear that he felt about the possibility of being cursed to live his life without the “rose colored glasses” like so many others wear.

  12. liz says:

    how is it about his wife?
    it just seems like he is talking about how he doesn’t really belong and that he is like an outcast. i don’t see anything relating to his wife unless you think that cuz he said he was a child and was talking about being a child in annabell lee .. .. ..

    this isn’t my favorite poe poem.
    mine is ADream Within A Dream

  13. Dugaru327 says:

    Left out something. There is also assonance on line 8.

  14. Dugaru327 says:

    As only one other has attempted some sort of analysis, I will explain this…most of you seem to have missed the meaning by a bit. This doesn’t have anything to do with losing his wife. I also encourage you to read the other analysis (comment 2)

    Lines 1-8: Describe how ever since his childhood he has been alone in the sense of his personality and passions. He also, like the other analysis said, didn’t feel regret for being alone. However, he, unlike the other children, still experienced sorrow and couldn’t be as joyful as his peers.
    Lines 9-11: Transition to the next section.
    Lines 13-22: He talks about WHY he is so different from the other children. It is a large section of anaphora and imagery ending with a metaphor of a demon-shaped cloud in a clear sky which corresponds to the demon in Poe’s way whereas the way is clear for everyone else.

  15. Fatima says:

    hii…….wel..i luv this poem..let me just say that…i m doin a eng assignment..n i chose this poem..it just rocks..thats wut i think lol..nyways..when u read this poem u can srsly relate to it..or just feel it..or imagin wut he is tryin to say..he seems to be relli sad as others have said 2…ni think this is a relli kool way of showin ur emotionz..hope i get a gud mark on my siminar on the 19 dec…wish me luck ppl ! i knw u wont ..but lol

  16. Veruca Sault says:

    This poema reminds me of the time I asked my daddy for another pony. He would not give it to me and now I hate him for life. I am also very very sad.

    Veruca

    LOL jking. this is Emma of US

  17. Amelia Neil says:

    The mood of this poem is “sad and filled with despair.” In this poem, Edgar Allan Poe describes how he felt when his wife died. It means he felt like the saddest person on Earth when she died, and he did he died. of This poem is an example of imagery.This is what I think of this poem. I hope others understand too.
    Yours,
    Amelia

  18. Cretzsa Sloffgreirt says:

    “cretzack lexzte raer grasia” means “i do not understand”. That is what i think. What does this poem mean? I dont know. My assignment for Gtradid, or English class, is to memorize and it and write the meaning of it. Dudes, I HATE this poem, and as Jessika from the United States said, I’m a poor sucker!! Haha, we are all suckers Jessika!!!!HAHHAA!!!! ;P

    Go me!!
    Cretzsa

  19. Butch S says:

    Hi,
    I read a part of this poem for the first time in the novel ‘Stone Butch Blues’ written by Leslie Feinberg. When i was reading it i found myself in it. It said all the things i wanted to say and it described all the things i felt and that i am still feeling.
    I love this poem – it is my favourite!
    Yours,
    Butch S

  20. Clay says:

    I had to pick a peom for my englis class.I picked this one because it is a very deap and meaningfull poem. Edgar Allen Poe is an awsome poem writer.

  21. *Jennifer* says:

    This is my favorite Poe Poem!! It is so freakin awesome…it is so knarly!!!!!! Poe writes about wicked stuff……i think he would have been Emo if he was in our time

  22. courteney says:

    i read this poem and all i see is me in a world with people how judge others cause where not them.edgar knows what hes talking about and i wish i wrote poems that deep.

  23. Jessika says:

    dude that poem touched my heart! *tear* lol jk it was a kool poem and i liked and whoever didnt……you are poor suckers!! xD l8ers

  24. Federica says:

    I can mirror myself in this poem,I have not been
    As others were; I have not seen
    As others saw.

  25. ###ELi### says:

    this wud have to be my fave poem, its so deep i almost cried!its so sad his wife died so young, i hope i live past 24!

  26. UrMom says:

    Dude its sad he died but he had to lmao!!!

  27. Jonathan Lee says:

    Can feel the pain and can relate to it. I often feel this way as I’ve been looked down on practically my whole life. Beautifully written… it makes me want to go up to Poe, slap him on the back, and tell him to cheer up… that is if he were alive.

  28. J duece says:

    I like this poem alot. It has depth to it. It leaves me with chills when i read it. And I dont mean chills from the creepiness of Poe, but just that the poem is that sweet. Peace

  29. Erik Smth says:

    Although Poe does use a variety of literary techniques in his writing, it seems too short, superficial, almost written just to appeal to the masses, not straight from the heart. Gramatically, its strong, but I find no specialties about it. Just another mass garble of words that was thrown together to become popular.

  30. . . . says:

    god this poem is so beautiful.i can really connect with both the poem in my own feelings and with him and his feelings at the time.

  31. Chris says:

    this is insane like viens that are breakin in the brian i feel this dudes pian

  32. Jenny Hernandez says:

    When i read this poem I felt exactly what he meant by each word. This is one of my favorite poems. At one point or another in our lives we all feel like this. Its an universal emotion.

  33. Joe Smackum says:

    This poem is a shot to my head and defines who i am.

  34. kellen anderson says:

    I love this poem. Very deep and strong. I agree with everyone who has posted.

  35. Jenna says:

    This poem is so strong, I feel his lonelyness and his I hear his thoughts it is amazing, I love this poem and shalle ever more take it with me.

  36. casey says:

    this poem is so beautiful in a sad way… it truly hit me and i understood what it ment. i am only 15 but i love and appricate good poetry and Poe is one of my favorites…check out Jim Morrison!

  37. sebastian aulenbach says:

    this poem discribes my life

  38. Teena says:

    This is a very well written poem, because it encapsulates depth and imagination. Poe is the greatest

  39. scarlet says:

    i really like this poem.E.P really knows how to describe everything he feels!!!!

  40. Olga says:

    I think that this is a great poem, and I really like it. I need to pick a poem for my English 12, and memorize it, so i decided to pick this one becasue i really like it. Thanks to Edgar Allan Poe.

  41. Darlene says:

    Poe is saying ‘I am different from other people, I am special, I am uniquely contrary in my passions. I don’t feel sorry about the things other people feel sorry about. I don’t enjoy the things other people enjoy. No one else loves the things I love.’ He says he has been like that from childhood. I take the title ‘Alone’ as referring to that self-image of uniqueness. Certainly the word has overtones of solitude and loneliness, but the poem isn’t about those meanings. There’s no hint in the poem that Poe regrets being different, or is fearful, or wants to avoid the company of others. After the first eight lines the poem becomes more unclear and goes off track for a bit. Unlike some poets, Poe sticks to grammar. In the grammar of this poem, the climactic line is ‘The mystery that binds me still’. The following lines do little to explain what that mystery is. They provide a list of superficial, poor, visual images of natural phenomena ‘from’ which the mystery is said to have been ‘drawn’. The only helpful detail in them is the closing mention of seeing a cloud that looked to him like a demon, even though it was blue sky weather. Being an instance of seeing something memorably deathlike in a thing ordinarily regarded as momentary and of no importance, I read that as an attempt to return the poem to the track on which it started. As a result, what Poe is saying in his own way is that his distinction of taste, and his fascination for the dark side of things, is a mystery to him, but is something he has always lived with and always will. And he is convinced he is the only person who is like that.

  42. Tara says:

    This poem really reached out to me, I could feel the depth of the sorrow, and the way it was meant to be.

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