Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, who was also associated with the American Romantic Movement. He was better known for his tales of mystery and macabre. He was amongst the earliest American practitioners of short story and was generally considered as the inventor of the detective-fiction genre.

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Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

A fearful instance of the ill consequences attending upon irascibility – alive, with the qualifications of the dead – dead, with the propensities of the living – an anomaly on the face of the earth – being very calm, yet breathless. – Edgar Allan Poe

A fool, for example, thinks Shakespeare a great poet . . . yet the fool has never read Shakespeare. – Edgar Allan Poe

A gentleman with a pug nose is a contradiction in terms. – Edgar Allan Poe

A lie travels round the world while truth is putting her boots on. – Edgar Allan Poe

A lunatic may be. – Edgar Allan Poe

A mystery, and a dream, should my early life seem. – Edgar Allan Poe

A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. – Edgar Allan Poe

A poem in my opinion, is opposed to a work of science by having for its immediate object, pleasure, not truth. – Edgar Allan Poe

A short story is “a short prose narrative, requiring from a half hour, to one or two hours in its perusal…having conceived, with deliberate care, a certain unique or single effect to be wrought out… – Edgar Allan Poe

A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this – that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made – not to understand – but to feel – as crime. – Edgar Allan Poe

A valet, of stealthy step, thence conducted me, in silence, through many dark and intricate passages in my progress to the studio of his master. – Edgar Allan Poe

A wise man hears one word and understands two. – Edgar Allan Poe

A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. – Edgar Allan Poe

After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that can be thought, on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most superficial sentiment. – Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever! Let the bell toll!-a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river; And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?-weep now or nevermore! – Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. – Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly, I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Leonore – For the rare and radiant maiden who the angels name Lenore – Nameless here for evermore. – Edgar Allan Poe

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly, I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Leonore –
For the rare and radiant maiden who the angels name Lenore –
Nameless here for evermore. – Edgar Allan Poe

Alas! for that accursed time They bore thee o’er the billow, From love to titled age and crime, And an unholy pillow! From me, and from our misty clime, Where weeps the silver willow! – Edgar Allan Poe

All suffering originates from craving, from attachment, from desire. – Edgar Allan Poe

All works of art should begin… at the end. – Edgar Allan Poe

Always keep a big bottle of booze at your side. If a bird starts talking nonsense to you in the middle of the night pour yourself a stiff drink. – Edgar Allan Poe

An immortal instinct, deep within the spirit of man, is thus, plainly, a sense of the Beautiful. This it is which administers to his delight in the manifold forms, and sounds, and odors, and sentiments, amid which he exists. And just as the lily is repeated in the lake, or the eyes of Amaryllis in the mirror, so is the mere oral or written repetition of these forms, and sounds, and colors, and odors, and sentiments, a duplicate source of delight. But this mere repetition is not poetry. He who shall simply sing, with however glowing enthusiasm, or with however vivid a truth of description, of the sights, and sounds, and odors, and colors, and sentiments, which greet him in common with all mankind—he, I say, has yet failed to prove his divine title. There is still a something in the distance which he has been unable to attain. We have still a thirst unquenchable, to allay which he has not shown us the crystal springs. This thirst belongs to the immortality of Man. It is at once a consequence and an indication of his perennial existence. It is the desire of the moth for the star. It is no mere appreciation of the Beauty before us, but a wild effort to reach the Beauty above. Inspired by an ecstatic prescience of the glories beyond the grave, we struggle, by multiform combinations among the things and thoughts of Time, to attain a portion of that Loveliness whose very elements, perhaps, appertain to eternity alone. – Edgar Allan Poe

And all my days are trances, And all my nightly dreams Are where thy dark eye glances, And where thy footstep gleams– In what ethereal dances, By what eternal streams! – Edgar Allan Poe

And because our reason violently deters us from the brink, therefore, do we the more impetuously approach it. There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him, who shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a plunge. To indulge for a moment, in any attempt at thought, is to be inevitably lost; for reflection but urges us to forbear, and therefore it is, I say, that we cannot. If there be no friendly arm to check us, or if we fail in a sudden effort to prostrate ourselves backward from the abyss, we plunge, and are destroyed. – Edgar Allan Poe

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. – Edgar Allan Poe

And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? –now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage. – Edgar Allan Poe

And I fell violently on my face. – Edgar Allan Poe

And much of Madness, and more of Sin, And Horror the soul of the plot. – Edgar Allan Poe

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted — nevermore! – Edgar Allan Poe

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revelers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all. – Edgar Allan Poe

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you”— here I opened wide the door; — Darkness there, and nothing more. – Edgar Allan Poe

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting… – Edgar Allan Poe

And the Raven, never flitting, Still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming Of a demon’s that is dreaming, And the lamplight o’er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow, That lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted – nevermore. – Edgar Allan Poe

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door — Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; — This it is, and nothing more. – Edgar Allan Poe

And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave. – Edgar Allan Poe

And travellers, now, within that valley, Through the red-litten windows see Vast forms, that move fantastically To a discordant melody, While, like a ghastly rapid river, Through the pale door A hideous throng rush out forever And laugh — but smile no more. – Edgar Allan Poe

And, all at once, the moon arouse through the thin ghastly mist, And was crimson in color… And they lynx which dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom. And lay down at the feet of the demon. And looked at him steadily in the face. – Edgar Allan Poe

As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all. – Edgar Allan Poe

As a viewed myself in a fragment of looking-glass…, I was so impressed with a sense of vague awe at my appearance … that I was seized with a violent tremour. – Edgar Allan Poe

As an individual, I myself feel impelled to fancy a limitless succession of Universes. Each exists, apart and independently, in the bosom of its proper and particular God. – Edgar Allan Poe

As for Republicanism, no analogy could be found for it upon the face of the earth—unless we except the case of the “prairie dogs,” an exception which seems to demonstrate, if anything, that democracy is a very admirable form of government—for dogs. – Edgar Allan Poe

As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles. – Edgar Allan Poe

As we can scarcely imagine a time when there did not exist a necessity, or at least a desire, of transmitting information from one individual to another, in such manner as to elude general comprehension; so we may well suppose the practice of writing in cipher to be of great antiquity. – Edgar Allan Poe

Bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation-to make a point-than to further the cause of truth.” Dupin in “The Mystery of Marie Roget – Edgar Allan Poe

Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard. – Edgar Allan Poe

Blood was its Avatar and its seal. – Edgar Allan Poe

Books, indeed, were his sole luxuries – Edgar Allan Poe

Boston: Their hotels are bad. Their pumpkin pies are delicious. Their poetry is not so good. – Edgar Allan Poe

But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch’s high estate; (Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow Shall dawn upon him desolate!) And round about his home the glory That blushed and bloomed, Is but a dim-remembered story Of the old time entombed. – Edgar Allan Poe

But in the expression of the countenance, which was beaming all over with smiles, there still lurked (incomprehensible anomalyl) that fitful strain of melancholy which will ever be found inseparable from the perfection of the beautiful. – Edgar Allan Poe

But Psyche uplifting her finger said: Sadly this star I mistrust – Edgar Allan Poe

By a route obscure and lonely Haunted by ill angels only, Where an eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule — From a wild, weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE, out of TIME. – Edgar Allan Poe

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule —
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE — out of TIME. – Edgar Allan Poe

By late accounts from Rotterdam, that city seems to be in a high state of philosophical excitement. Indeed, phenomena have there occurred of a nature so completely unexpected–so entirely novel–so utterly at variance with preconceived opinions–as to leave no doubt on my mind that long ere this all Europe is in an uproar, all physics in a ferment, all reason and astronomy together by the ears. – Edgar Allan Poe

By the grey woods, by the swamp, where the toad and newt encamp, by the dismal tarns and pools, where dwell the Gouls. By each spot the most unholy, by each nook most melancholy, there the traveller meets, aghast, sheeted memories of the Past. Shrouded forms that start and sigh, as they pass the wanderer by. White-robed forms of friends long given; In agony, to the Earth – and Heaven. – Edgar Allan Poe

By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmament by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct. – Edgar Allan Poe

Ceux qui revent eveilles ont conscience de 1000 choses qui echapent a ceux qui ne revent qu’endormis. The one who has day dream are aware of 1000 things that the one who dreams only when he sleeps will never understand. (it sounds better in french, I do what I can with my translation…) – Edgar Allan Poe

Children are never too tender to be whipped. Like tough beefsteaks, the more you beat them, the more tender they become. – Edgar Allan Poe

Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities- that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration. – Edgar Allan Poe

Come little children I’ll take thee away, into a land of Enchantment Come little children the time’s come to play here in my garden of Shadows Follow sweet children I’ll show thee the way through all the pain and the Sorrows Weep not poor children for life is this way murdering beauty and Passions Hush now dear children it must be this way to weary of life and Deceptions Rest now my children for soon we’ll away into the calm and the Quiet Come little children I’ll take thee away, into a land of Enchantment Come little children the time’s come to play here in my garden of Shadows – Edgar Allan Poe

Convinced myself, I seek not to convince. – Edgar Allan Poe

Decorum — that bug-bear which deters so many from bliss until the opportunity for bliss has forever gone by. – Edgar Allan Poe

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?” This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!” – Edgar Allan Poe, Merely this, and nothing more

Democracy is a very admirable form of government – for dogs – Edgar Allan Poe

Dreams are eraser dust and now I use a pen. – Edgar Allan Poe

Dreams are only memories of the plans I had back then. – Edgar Allan Poe

Dreams are the eraser dust I blow off my page. – Edgar Allan Poe

Dreams are the eraser dust I blow off my page. They fade into the emptiness, another dark gray day. Dreams are only memories of the plans I had back then. Dreams are eraser dust and now I use a pen. – Edgar Allan Poe

During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was – but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. – Edgar Allan Poe

Even for those to whom life and death are equal jests. There are some things that are still held in respect. – Edgar Allan Poe

Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made. – Edgar Allan Poe

Every moment of the night Forever changing places And they put out the star-light With the breath from their pale faces – Edgar Allan Poe

Every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before anything be attempted with the pen. It is only with the dénouement constantly in view that we can plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points tend to the development of the intention. – Edgar Allan Poe

Every poem, it is said, should inculcate a moral; and by this moral is the poetical merit of the work to be adjudged. We Americans, especially, have patronized this happy idea; and we Bostonians, very especially have developed it in full. We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem’s sake, and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true Poetic dignity and force; but the simple fact is, that, would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls, we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem—this poem per se—this poem which is a poem and nothing more—this poem written solely for the poem’s sake. – Edgar Allan Poe

Ev’n with us the breath Of Science dims the mirror of our joy… – Edgar Allan Poe

False hope is nicer than no hope at all. – Edgar Allan Poe

Few persons can be made to believe that it is not quite an easy thing to invent a method of secret writing that shall baffle investigation. Yet it may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve. – Edgar Allan Poe

Fill with mingled cream and amber, I will drain that glass again. Such hilarious visions clamber Through the chamber of my brain — Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies Come to life and fade away; What care I how time advances? I am drinking ale today. – Edgar Allan Poe

Finally on Sunday morning, October 7, 1849, “He became quiet and seemed to rest for a short time. Then, gently, moving his head,” he said, “Lord help my poor soul.” As he had lived so he died-in great misery and tragedy. – Edgar Allan Poe

For her whom in life thou dids’t abhor, in death thou shalt adore – Edgar Allan Poe

For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words, with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived it. – Edgar Allan Poe

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side Of my darling- my darling- my life and my bride, In the sepulchre there by the sea, In her tomb by the sounding sea. – Edgar Allan Poe

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee – Edgar Allan Poe

For the question is of will, and not, as the insanity of logic has assumed of power. It is not that the Deity cannot modify his laws, but that we insult him in imagining a possible necessity for modification. In their origin these laws were fashioned to embrace all contingencies which could lie in the future. With God all is Now. – Edgar Allan Poe

For years your name never passed my lips, while my soul drank in, with a delirious thirst, all that was uttered in my presence respecting you…. – Edgar Allan Poe

Gaily bedight, A gallant knight, In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of Eldorado. But he grew old— This knight so bold— And o’er his heart a shadow— Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado. And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow— ‘Shadow,’ said he, ‘Where can it be— This land of Eldorado?’ ‘Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,’ The shade replied,— ‘If you seek for Eldorado! – Edgar Allan Poe

Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore – Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore! Quoth the raven, `Nevermore. – Edgar Allan Poe

Grammar is the analysis of language. – Edgar Allan Poe

Happiness is not to be found in knowledge, but in the acquisition of knowledge – Edgar Allan Poe

He is, as you say, a remarkable horse, a prodigious horse, although as you very justly observe, a suspicious and untractable character. – Edgar Allan Poe

He must be theory-mad beyond redemption who … shall … persist in attempting to reconcile the obstinate oils and waters of Poetry and Truth. – Edgar Allan Poe

Hear the mellow wedding bells, Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten golden notes, And all in tune What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens while she gloats On the moon! – Edgar Allan Poe

Hear the sledges with the bells, Silver bells! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night, While the stars that oversprinkle All the Heavens seem to twinkle With a crystalline delight: Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells– From the jingling and the tingling of the bells. – Edgar Allan Poe

How many good books suffer neglect through the inefficiency of their beginnings! – Edgar Allan Poe

How much more intense is the excitement wrought in the feelings of a crowd by the contemplation of human agony, than that brought about by the most appalling spectacles of inanimate matter. – Edgar Allan Poe

I am a writer. Therefore. I am not sane. – Edgar Allan Poe

I am actuated by an ambition which I believe to be an honourable one— the ambition of serving the great cause of truth, while endeavouring to forward the literature of the country. – Edgar Allan Poe

I am excessively slothful, and wonderfully industrious-by fits. There are epochs when any kind of mental exercise is torture, and when nothing yields me pleasure but the solitary communion with the ‘mountains & the woods’-the ‘altars’ of Byron. I have thus rambled and dreamed away whole months, and awake, at last, to a sort of mania for composition. Then I scribble all day, and read all night, so long as the disease endures. – Edgar Allan Poe

I am SHADOW, and my dwelling is near to the Catacombs of Ptolemais, and hard by those dim plains of Helusion which border upon the foul Charonian canal.” And then did we, the seven, start from our seats in horror, and stand trembling, and shuddering, and aghast, for the tones in the voice of the shadow were not the tones of any one being, but of a multitude of beings, and, varying in their cadences from syllable to syllable fell duskly upon our ears in the well-remembered and familiar accents of many thousand departed friends. – Edgar Allan Poe

I am walking like a bewitched corpse, with the certainty of being eaten by the infinite, of being annulled by the only existing Absurd. – Edgar Allan Poe

I attacked with great resolution the editorial matter, and, reading it from beginning to end without understanding a syllable, conceived the possibility of its being Chinese, and so re-read it from the end to the beginning, but with no more satisfactory result. – Edgar Allan Poe

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. – Edgar Allan Poe

I fashion the expression of my face, as accurately as possible, in accordance with the expression of his, and then wait to see what thoughts or sentiments arise in my mind or heart, as if to match or correspond with the expression. – Edgar Allan Poe

I fell in love with melancholy – Edgar Allan Poe

I found him well educated, with unusual powers of mind, but infected with misanthropy, and subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have perilled life and reputation and reason. It has been in the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories — memories of wrong and injustice and imputed dishonor — from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have been happy, though in a dream. I have been happy-and I love the theme: Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife – Edgar Allan Poe

I have before suggested that a genuine blackguard is never without a pocket-handkerchief. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have great faith in fools – my friends call it self-confidence – Edgar Allan Poe

I have great faith in fools — self-confidence my friends will call it. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have made no money. I am as poor now as ever I was in my life – except in hope, which is by no means bankable. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active –not more happy –nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have not only labored solely for the benefit of others (receiving for myself a miserable pittance), but have been forced to model my thoughts at the will of men whose imbecility was evident to all but themselves – Edgar Allan Poe

I have sometimes amused myself by endeavouring to fancy what would be the fate of an individual gifted, or rather accursed, with an intellect very far superior to that of his race. Of course he would be conscious of his superiority; nor could he (if otherwise constituted as man is) help manifesting his consciousness. Thus he would make himself enemies at all points. And since his opinions and speculations would widely differ from those of all mankind — that he would be considered a madman is evident. How horribly painful such a condition! Hell could invent no greater torture than that of being charged with abnormal weakness on account of being abnormally strong. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect – in terror. – Edgar Allan Poe

I heed not that my earthly lot Hath – little of Earth in it – That years of love have been forgot In the hatred of a minute: – I mourn not that the desolate Are happier, sweet, than I, But that you sorrow for my fate Who am a passer by. – Edgar Allan Poe

I hold that a long poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase, “a long poem,” is simply a flat contradiction in terms. – Edgar Allan Poe

I might refer at once, if necessary, to a hundred well authenticated instances. One of very remarkable character, and of which the circumstances may be fresh in the memory of some of my readers, occurred, not very long ago, in the neighboring city of Baltimore, where it occasioned a painful, intense, and widely extended excitement. – Edgar Allan Poe

I must not dwell upon the fearful repast which immediately ensued. Such things may be imagined, but words have no power to impress the mind with the exquisite horror of their reality. – Edgar Allan Poe

I must perish in this deplorable folly. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the events of the future, not in themselves, but in their results. I shudder at the thought of any, even the most trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul. I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect-in terror. In this unnerved-in this pitiable condition-I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR. – Edgar Allan Poe

I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. But all excitements are, through a psychal necessity, transient. – Edgar Allan Poe

I never can hear a crowd of people singing and gesticulating, all together, at an Italian opera, without fancying myself at Athens, listening to that particular tragedy, by Sophocles, in which he introduces a full chorus of turkeys, who set about bewailing the death of Meleager. – Edgar Allan Poe

I remained to much inside my head and ended up losing my mind – Edgar Allan Poe

I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension, without the power to comprehend as men, at time, find themselves upon the brink of rememberance, without being able, in the end, to remember. – Edgar Allan Poe

I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of golden sand- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep- while I weep! – Edgar Allan Poe

I was cautious in what I said before the young lady; for I could not be sure that she was sane; and, in fact, there was a certain restless brilliancy about her eyes that half led me to imagine she was not. – Edgar Allan Poe

I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression. – Edgar Allan Poe

If a man deceives me once, shame on him; if he deceives me twice, shame on me. – Edgar Allan Poe

If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own — the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple — a few plain words — My Heart Laid Bare. But — this little book must be true to its title. – Edgar Allan Poe

If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment… – Edgar Allan Poe

If I could dwell where Israfel hath dwelt and he where I he might not sing so wildly well a mortal melody while a bolder note then this might swell from my lyre in the sky. – Edgar Allan Poe

If I venture to displace … the microscopical speck of dust… on the point of my finger,… I have done a deed which shakes the Moon in her path, which causes the Sun to be no longer the Sun, and which alters forever the destiny of multitudinous myriads of stars. – Edgar Allan Poe

If in many of my productions terror has been the thesis, I maintain that terror is not of Germany, but of the soul. – Edgar Allan Poe

If the propositions of this Discourse are tenable, the “state of progressive collapse” is precisely that state in which alone we are warranted in considering All Things. – Edgar Allan Poe

If we cannot comprehend God in his visible works, how then in his inconceivable thoughts, that call the works into being? – Edgar Allan Poe

If we examine a work of ordinary art, by means of a powerful microscope, all traces of resemblance to nature will disappear – but the closest scrutiny of the photogenic drawing discloses only a more absolute truth, a more perfect identity of aspect with the thing represented. – Edgar Allan Poe

If you are ever drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations. – Edgar Allan Poe

If you do not take it up with you in some way, I shall be under the necessity of breaking your head with this shovel – Edgar Allan Poe

If you have never been at sea in a heavy gale, you can form no idea of the confusion of mind occasioned by wind and spry together. They blind, deafen, and strangle you, and take away all power of action or reflection. – Edgar Allan Poe

If you run out of ideas follow the road; you’ll get there – Edgar Allan Poe

In [chess], where the pieces have different and “bizarre” motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex, is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound – Edgar Allan Poe

In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me. – Edgar Allan Poe

In efforts to soar above our nature, we invariably fall below it. – Edgar Allan Poe

In for ever knowing, we are for ever blessed; but to know all were the curse of a fiend – Edgar Allan Poe

In me didst thou exist-and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself. – Edgar Allan Poe

In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found. – Edgar Allan Poe

In reading some books we occupy ourselves chiefly with the thoughts of the author; in perusing others, exclusively with our own. – Edgar Allan Poe

In spite of the air of fable the public were still not at all disposed to receive it as fable. I thence concluded that the facts of my narrative would prove of such a nature as to carry with them sufficient evidence of their own authenticity. – Edgar Allan Poe

In the marginalia … we talk only to ourselves; we therefore talk freshly – boldly – originally – with abandonment – without conceit. – Edgar Allan Poe

In the one instance, the dreamer loses sight of this object in a wilderness of deductions and suggestions until he finds the incitamentum, or first cause of his musings,… forgotten. In my case, the primary object was invariably frivolous, although assuming, through the medium of my distempered vision, a refracted and unreal importance. – Edgar Allan Poe

In the one instance, the dreamer, or enthusiast, being interested by an object usually not frivolous, imperceptibly loses sight of this object in a wilderness of deductions and suggestions issuing therefrom, until, at the conclusion of a day dream often replete with luxury, he finds the incitamentum, or first cause of his musings, utterly vanished and forgotten. In my case, the primary object was invariably frivolous, although assuming, through the medium of my distempered vision, a refracted and unreal importance. Few deductions, if any, were made; and those few pertinaciously returning in, so to speak, upon the original object as a centre. The meditations were never pleasurable; and, at the termination of the reverie, the first cause, so far from being out of sight, had attained that supernaturally exaggerated interest which was the prevailing feature of the disease. In a word, the powers of mind more particularly exercised were, with me, as I have said before, the attentive, and are, with the day-dreamer, the speculative. – Edgar Allan Poe

In the tale proper–where there is no space for development of character or for great profusion and variety of incident–mere construction is, of course, far more imperatively demanded than in the novel. – Edgar Allan Poe

In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed- But a waking dream of life and light Hath left me broken-hearted. Ah! what is not a dream by day To him whose eyes are cast On things around him with a ray Turned back upon the past? That holy dream- that holy dream, While all the world were chiding, Hath cheered me as a lovely beam A lonely spirit guiding. What though that light, thro’ storm and night, So trembled from afar- What could there be more purely bright In Truth’s day-star? – Edgar Allan Poe

In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed– But a waking dream of life and light Hath left me broken-hearted. – Edgar Allan Poe

Indeed, there is an eloquence in true enthusiasm that is not to be doubted. – Edgar Allan Poe

It all depends on the robber’s knowledge of the loser’s knowledge of the robber. – Edgar Allan Poe, Daupin

It appears evident, then, that there is a distinct limit, as regards length, to all works of literary art — the limit of a single sitting — and that, although in certain classes of prose composition, such as “Robinson Crusoe,” (demanding no unity,) this limit may be advantageously overpassed, it can never properly be overpassed in a poem. Within this limit, the extent of a poem may be made to bear mathematical relation to its merit — in other words, to the excitement or elevation — again in other words, to the degree of the true poetical effect which it is capable of inducing; for it is clear that the brevity must be in direct ratio of the intensity of the intended effect: — this, with one proviso — that a certain degree of duration is absolutely requisite for the production of any effect at all. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is a happiness to wonder; — it is a happiness to dream. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is clear that a poem may be improperly brief. Undue brevity degenerates into mere epigrammatism. A very short poem, while now and then producing a brilliant or vivid, never produces a profound or enduring, effect. There must be the steady pressing down of the stamp upon the wax. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is more than probable that I am not understood; but I fear, indeed, that it is in no manner possible to convey to the mind of the merely general reader, an adequate idea of that nervous intensity of interest with which, in my case, the powers of meditation (not to speak technically) busied and buried themselves, in the contemplation of even the most ordinary objects of the universe. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is the curse of a certain order of mind, that it can never rest satisfied with the consciousness of its ability to do a thing.Still less is it content with doing it. It must both know and show how it was done. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is with literature as with law or empire — an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession. – Edgar Allan Poe

It may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve. – Edgar Allan Poe

It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma… which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve. – Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;–
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me. – Edgar Allan Poe

It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but, having fallen, it was blood. – Edgar Allan Poe

It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic. – Edgar Allan Poe

It would be mockery to call such dreariness heaven at all. – Edgar Allan Poe

Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells, From the bells, bells, bells. – Edgar Allan Poe

Leave my loneliness unbroken – Edgar Allan Poe

Let us dismiss, as irrelevant to the poem per se, the circumstance … which, in the first place, gave rise to the intention of composing a poem that should suit at once the popular and the critical taste. – Edgar Allan Poe

Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. – Edgar Allan Poe

Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man. – Edgar Allan Poe

Many years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want. – Edgar Allan Poe

Marking a book is literally an experience of your differences or agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him. – Edgar Allan Poe

Melancholy is … the most legitimate of all the poetical tones. – Edgar Allan Poe

Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors … on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed. – Edgar Allan Poe

Men of genius are far more abundant than is supposed. In fact, to appreciate thoroughly the work of what we call genius, is to possess all the genius by which the work was produced. – Edgar Allan Poe

Most writers – poets in especial – prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy – an ecstatic intuition – and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes… – Edgar Allan Poe

Most writers — poets in especial — prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy — an ecstatic intuition — and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes, at the elaborate and vacillating crudities of thought — at the true purposes seized only at the last moment — at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view — at the fully matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable — at the cautious selections and rejections — at the painful erasures and interpolations — in a word, at the wheels and pinions — the tackle for scene-shifting — the step-ladders and demon-traps — the cock’s feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio. – Edgar Allan Poe

Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. – Edgar Allan Poe

Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music, without the idea, is simply music; the idea, without the music, is prose, from its very definitiveness. – Edgar Allan Poe

My next thought concerned the choice of an impression, or effect, to be conveyed: and here I may as well observe that, throughout the construction, I kept steadily in view the design. – Edgar Allan Poe

Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed. – Edgar Allan Poe

No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter than you and I. – Edgar Allan Poe

No murmur arose from its bed, and so gently it wandered along, that the pearly pebbles upon which we loved to gaze, far down within its bosom, stirred not at all, but lay in a motionless content, each in its own old station, shining on gloriously forever. – Edgar Allan Poe

No one should brave the underworld alone. – Edgar Allan Poe

No thinking being lives who, at some luminous point of his life of thought, has not felt himself lost amid the surges of futile efforts at understanding, or believing, that anything exists greater than his own soul. – Edgar Allan Poe

Not hear it? –yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long –long –long –many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it –yet I dared not –oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am! –I dared not –I dared not speak! We have put her living in the tomb! – Edgar Allan Poe

Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before any thing be attempted with the pen. It is only with the dénouement constantly in view that we can give a plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points, tend to the development of the intention. – Edgar Allan Poe

O, human love! thou spirit given,
On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven! – Edgar Allan Poe

O, Times! O, Manners! It is my opinion That you are changing sadly your dominion I mean the reign of manners hath long ceased, For men have none at all, or bad at least; And as for times, altho’ ’tis said by many The “good old times” were far the worst of any, Of which sound Doctrine I believe each tittle Yet still I think these worst a little. I’ve been a thinking -isn’t that the phrase?- I like your Yankee words and Yankee ways – I’ve been a thinking, whether it were best To Take things seriously, Or all in jest – Edgar Allan Poe

Odors have an altogether peculiar force, in affecting us through association; a force differing essentially from that of objects addressing the touch, the taste, the sight or the hearing. – Edgar Allan Poe

Of a water that flows,
With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
Feet under ground —
From a cavern not very far
Down under ground. – Edgar Allan Poe, For Annie (1849)

Of puns it has been said that those most dislike who are least able to utter them. – Edgar Allan Poe

Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them. – Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore–While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As if some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. “‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door–Only this and nothing more. – Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. – Edgar Allan Poe

One half of the pleasure experienced at a theatre arises from the spectator’s sympathy with the rest of the audience, and, especially from his belief in their sympathy with him. – Edgar Allan Poe

One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; — hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart; — hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence; — hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin — a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it — if such a thing were possible — even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God. – Edgar Allan Poe

Out- out are the lights- out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” And its hero the Conqueror Worm. – Edgar Allan Poe

Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,” The shade replied,- “If you seek for Eldorado. – Edgar Allan Poe

Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,- Perched, and sat, and nothing more. – Edgar Allan Poe

Perversity is the human thirst for self-torture. – Edgar Allan Poe

Philosophers have often held dispute As to the seat of thought in man and brute For that the power of thought attends the latter My friend, thy beau, hath made a settled matter, And spite of dogmas current in all ages, One settled fact is better than ten sages. – Edgar Allan Poe (O,Tempora! O,Mores!)

Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore- Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore- Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.” Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore. – Edgar Allan Poe

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore! – Edgar Allan Poe

Read this and thought of you: Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say. – Edgar Allan Poe

A change fell upon all things. Strange brilliant flowers, star-shaped, burst out upon the trees where no flowers had been before. The tints of the green carpet deepened; and when, one by one, the white daisies shrank away, there sprang up, in place of them, ten by ten of the ruby-red asphodel. And life arose in our paths; for the tall flamingo hitherto unseen, with all gay glowing birds, flaunted his scarlet plumage before us. The golden and silver fish haunted the river… – Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

Reality is the #1 cause of insanity among those who are in contact with it – Edgar Allan Poe

Scorching my seared heart with a pain, not hell shall make me fear again. – Edgar Allan Poe

Sensations are the great things, after all. Should you ever be drowned or hung, be sure and make a note of your sensations; they will be worth to you ten guineas a sheet. – Edgar Allan Poe

Since that period I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight half of anxiety. – Edgar Allan Poe

Sometimes I’m terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts. – Edgar Allan Poe

Sound loves to revel in a summer night. – Edgar Allan Poe

Sound– That stealeth ever on the ear of him Who, musing, gazeth on the distance dim, And sees the darkness coming as a cloud– Is not its form–its voice–most palpable and loud? – Edgar Allan Poe

Sound–
That stealeth ever on the ear of him
Who, musing, gazeth on the distance dim,
And sees the darkness coming as a cloud–
Is not its form–its voice–most palpable and loud? – Edgar Allan Poe

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. – Edgar Allan Poe, Dream Within A Dream, A

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” Quoth the raven, “Nevermore. – Edgar Allan Poe

Tell a scoundrel, three or four times a day, that he is the pink of probity, and you make him at least the perfection of “respectability” in good earnest. On the other hand, accuse an honorable man, too petinaciously, of being a villain, and you fill him with a perverse ambition to show you that you are not altogether in the wrong. – Edgar Allan Poe

Tell me truly, I implore– Is there– is there balm in Gilead?–tell me–tell me, I implore! – Edgar Allan Poe

That fitful strain of melancholy which will ever be found inseperable from the perfection of the beautiful. – Edgar Allan Poe

That is another of your odd notions,” said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing “odd” that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of “oddities. – Edgar Allan Poe

That single thought is enough. The impulse increases to a wish, the wish to a desire, the desire to an uncontrollable longing, and the longing (to the deep regret and mortification of the speaker, and in defiance of all consequences,) is indulged. – Edgar Allan Poe

That the play is the tragedy, “Man,” And its hero, the Conqueror Worm. – Edgar Allan Poe

The “Variety” is but the principle’s natural safeguard from self-destruction by excess of self. – Edgar Allan Poe

The agony of my soul found vent in one loud, long and final scream of despair. – Edgar Allan Poe

The analytical power should not be confounded with simple ingenuity; for while the analyst is necessarily ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis. – Edgar Allan Poe

The believer is happy. The doubter is wise. – Edgar Allan Poe

The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all those more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind. – Edgar Allan Poe

The Bostonians are really, as a race, far inferior in point of anything beyond mere intellect to any other set upon the continent of North America. They are decidedly the most servile imitators of the English it is possible to conceive. – Edgar Allan Poe

The customs of the world are so many conventional follies. – Edgar Allan Poe

The daguerreotype itself must undoubtedly be regarded as the most important, and perhaps the most extraordinary triumph of modern science. – Edgar Allan Poe

The death then of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover. – Edgar Allan Poe

The demands of Truth are severe; she has no sympathy with the myrtles. All that which is so indispensable in Song is precisely all that with which she has nothing whatever to do. It is but making her a flaunting paradox to wreathe her in gems and flowers. In enforcing a truth we need severity rather than efflorescence of language. We must be simple, precise, terse. We must be cool, calm, unimpassioned. In a word, we must be in that mood, which, as nearly as possible, is the exact converse of the poetical. He must be blind, indeed, who does not perceive the radical and chasmal differences between the truthful and the poetical modes of inculcation. He must be theory-mad beyond redemption who, in spite of these differences, shall still persist in attempting to reconcile the obstinate oils and waters of Poetry and Truth. – Edgar Allan Poe

The enormous multiplication of books in every branch of knowledge is one of the greatest evils of this age, since it presents one of the most serious obstacles to the acquisition of correct information by throwing in the reader’s way piles of lumber in which he must painfully grope for the scraps of useful matter, peradventure interspersed. – Edgar Allan Poe

The eye, like a shattered mirror, multiplies the images of sorrow – Edgar Allan Poe

The fever called “living” Is conquer’d at last. – Edgar Allan Poe

The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame. – Edgar Allan Poe

The generous Critic fann’d the Poet’s fire, And taught the world with reason to admire. – Edgar Allan Poe

The glory that was Greece. – Edgar Allan Poe

The goodness of the true pun is in direct ratio to its intolerability – Edgar Allan Poe

The goodness of your true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability. – Edgar Allan Poe

The grandeur that was Rome. – Edgar Allan Poe

That gently, o’er a perfumed sea, The weary, way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore. On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the grandeur that was Rome. Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche How statue-like I see thee stand, The agate lamp within thy hand, Ah! Psyche, from the regions which Are Holy Land! – Edgar Allan Poe

The greater amount of truth is impulsively uttered; thus the greater amount is spoken, not written. – Edgar Allan Poe

The higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of chess. – Edgar Allan Poe

The history of all Magazines shows plainly that those which have attained celebrity were indebted for it to articles similar in natureto Berenice–although, I grant you, far superior in style and execution. I say similar in nature. You ask me in what does this nature consist? In the ludicrous heightened into the grotesque: the fearful coloured into the horrible: the witty exaggerated into the burlesque: the singular wrought out into the strange and mystical. – Edgar Allan Poe

The mental features discoursed of as the analytical, are, in themselves, but little susceptible of analysis. We appreciate them only in their effects. We know of them, among other things, that they are always to their possessor, when inordinately possessed, a source of the liveliest enjoyment. – Edgar Allan Poe

The Merchant, to Secure His Treasure The merchant, to secure his treasure, Conveys it in a borrowed name: Euphelia serves to grace my measure, But Cloe is my real flame. My softest verse, my darling lyre Upon Euphelia’s toilet lay – When Cloe noted her desire That I should sing, that I should play. My lyre I tune, my voice I raise, But with my numbers mix my sighs; And whilst I sing Euphelia’s praise, I fix my soul on Cloe’s eyes. Fair Cloe blushed; Euphelia frowned: I sung, and gazed; I played, and trembled: And Venus to the Loves around Remarked how ill we all dissembled. – Edgar Allan Poe

The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of Artist – Edgar Allan Poe

The most natural, and, consequently, the truest and most intense of the human affections are those which arise in the heart as if by electric sympathy. – Edgar Allan Poe

The most ‘popular,’ the most ‘successful’ writers among us (for a brief period, at least) are, 99 times out of a hundred, persons of mere effrontery-in a word, busy-bodies, toadies, quacks. – Edgar Allan Poe

The ninety and nine are with dreams, content but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true. – Edgar Allan Poe

The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led. – Edgar Allan Poe

The object, Truth, or the satisfaction of the intellect, and the object, Passion, or the excitement of the heart, are, although attainable, to a certain extent, in poetry, far more readily attainable in prose. – Edgar Allan Poe

The one who has day dream are aware of 1000 things that the one who dreams only when he sleeps will never understand. – Edgar Allan Poe (it sounds better in french, I do what I can with my translation…)

The past is a pebble in my shoe. – Edgar Allan Poe

The people have nothing to do with the laws but to obey them. – Edgar Allan Poe

The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind. – Edgar Allan Poe

the play was the tragedy “man” and it’s hero the conqueror worm – Edgar Allan Poe

The plots of God are perfect. The Universe is a plot of God. – Edgar Allan Poe

The rain came down upon my head – Unshelter’d. And the wind rendered me mad and deaf and blind. – Edgar Allan Poe

The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn,—not the material of my every-day existence–but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself. – Edgar Allan Poe

The reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature through the veil of the soul. – Edgar Allan Poe

The result of law inviolate is perfection–right–negative happiness. The result of law violate is imperfection, wrong, positive pain. – Edgar Allan Poe

The Romans worshipped their standard; and the Roman standard happened to be an eagle. Our standard is only one tenth of an eagle,–a dollar, but we make all even by adoring it with tenfold devotion. – Edgar Allan Poe

The rudiment of verse may, possibly, be found in the spondee. – Edgar Allan Poe

The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls. – Edgar Allan Poe

The sole purpose is to provide infinite springs, at which the soul may allay the eternal thirst TO KNOW which is forever unquenchable within it, since to quench it, would be to extinguish the soul’s self… – Edgar Allan Poe

THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely, settled –but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. – Edgar Allan Poe

The true genius shudders at incompleteness. – Edgar Allan Poe

The truth is, I am heartily sick of this life & of the nineteenth century in general. (I am convinced that every thing is going wrong.) – Edgar Allan Poe

The unity of effect or impression is a point of the greatest importance. It is clear, moreover, that this unity cannot be thoroughly preserved in productions whose perusal cannot be completed at one sitting. – Edgar Allan Poe

The usual derivation of the word Metaphysics is not to be sustained the science is supposed to take its name from its superiority to physics. The truth is, that Aristotle’s treatise on Morals is next in succession to his Book of Physics. – Edgar Allan Poe

The want of an international Copy-Right Law, by rendering it nearly impossible to obtain anything from the booksellers in the way of remuneration for literary labor, has had the effect of forcing many of our very best writers into the service of the Magazines and Reviews. – Edgar Allan Poe

The word “Verse” is used here as the term most convenient for expressing, and without pedantry, all that is involved in the consideration of rhythm, rhyme, meter, and versification… the subject is exceedingly simple; one tenth of it, possibly may be called ethical; nine tenths, however, appertains to the mathematics. – Edgar Allan Poe

The world is a great ocean, upon which we encounter more tempestuous storms than calms. – Edgar Allan Poe

The writer who neglects punctuation, or mispunctuates, is liable to be misunderstood for the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid. – Edgar Allan Poe

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee–by these angels he hath sent thee– Respite–respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!” Quothe the Raven, “Nevermore. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are few persons who have not, at some period of their lives, amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained. The occupation is often full of interest and he who attempts it for the first time is astonished by the apparently illimitable distance and incoherence between the starting-point and the goal. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad humanity must assume the aspect of Hell. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are some qualities, some incorporate things, that have a double life, which thus is made. A type os twin entity which springs from matter and light, envinced in solid and shade. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors, and looking them piteously in the eyes – die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed. Now and then, alas, the conscience of man takes up a burden so heavy in horror that it can be thrown down only into the grave. And thus the essence of all crime is undivulged. – Edgar Allan Poe

There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a Plunge. – Edgar Allan Poe

There is not a more disgusting spectacle under the sun than our subserviency to British criticism. It is disgusting, first, because it is truckling, servile, pusillanimous–secondly, because of its gross irrationality. We know the British to bear us little but ill will–we know that, in no case do they utter unbiased opinions of American books . . . we know all this, and yet, day after day, submit our necks to the degrading yoke of the crudest opinion that emanates from the fatherland. – Edgar Allan Poe

There is then no analogy whatever between the operations of the Chess-Player, and those of the calculating machine of Mr. Babbage , and if we choose to call the former a pure machine we must be prepared to admit that it is, beyond all comparison, the most wonderful of the inventions of mankind. – Edgar Allan Poe

There might be a class of beings, human once, but now to humanity invisible, for whose scrutiny, and for whose refined appreciation of the beautiful, more especially than for our own, had been set in order by God the great landscape-garden of the whole earth. – Edgar Allan Poe

There was a discordant hum of human voices! There was a loud blast as of many trumpets! There was a harsh grating as of a thousand thunders! The fiery walls rushed back! An outstretched arm caught my own as I fell, fainting, into the abyss. It was that of General Lasalle. The French army had entered Toledo. The Inquisition was in the hands of its enemies. – Edgar Allan Poe

There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart – an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime – Edgar Allan Poe

They fade into the emptiness, another dark gray day. – Edgar Allan Poe

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil. – Edgar Allan Poe

Those who gossip with you will gossip about you. – Edgar Allan Poe

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before – Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

Thy soul shall find itself alone ’Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone— Not one, of all the crowd, to pry Into thine hour of secrecy. Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness—for then The spirits of the dead who stood In life before thee are again In death around thee—and their will Shall overshadow thee: be still. […] – Edgar Allan Poe

To be thoroughly conversant with a man’s heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of despair. – Edgar Allan Poe

To Helen Helen, thy beauty is to me
Like those Nicean barks of yore
That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
The weary, way-worn wanderer bore
To his own native shore.

On desperate seas long wont to roam,
Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
To the glory that was Greece,
And the grandeur that was Rome.

Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche
How statue-like I see thee stand,
The agate lamp within thy hand,
Ah! Psyche, from the regions which
Are Holy Land! – Edgar Allan Poe

To him, who still would gaze upon the glory of the summer sun, there comes, when that sun will from him part, a sullen hopelessness of heart. – Edgar Allan Poe

To see distinctly the machinery–the wheels and pinions–of any work of Art is, unquestionably, of itself, a pleasure, but one which we are able to enjoy only just in proportion as we do not enjoy the legitimate effect designed by the artist. – Edgar Allan Poe

To speak algebraically, Mr. M. is execrable, but Mr. G. is (x + 1)- ecrable. – Edgar Allan Poe

True! – nervous – very, very nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? – Edgar Allan Poe

True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had haunted my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Of all the sense of hearing acute. – Edgar Allan Poe

Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found. – Edgar Allan Poe

We allude to the short prose narrative, requiring from a half hour to one or two hours in its perusal – Edgar Allan Poe

We gave him a hearty welcome, for there was nearly half as much of the entertaining as of the contemptible about the man.. – Edgar Allan Poe

We had always dwelled together, beneath a tropical sun, in the Valley of the Many Colored Grass. – Edgar Allan Poe

We now demand the light artillery of the intellect; we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused — in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible. – Edgar Allan Poe

We now demand the light artillery of the intellect; we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused – in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible. On the other hand, the lightness of the artillery should not degenerate into pop-gunnery – by which term we may designate the character of the greater portion of the newspaper press – their sole legitimate object being the discussion of ephemeral matters in an ephemeral manner. – Edgar Allan Poe

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it ‘the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.’ The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of ‘Artist.’ – Edgar Allan Poe

Were the succession of stars endless, then the background of the sky would present us an uniform luminosity, like that displayed by the Galaxy-since there could be absolutely no point, in all that background, at which would not exist a star. The only mode, therefore, in which, under such a state of affairs, we could comprehend the voids which our telescopes find in innumerable directions, would be by supposing the distance of the invisible background so immense that no ray from it has yet been able to reach us at all. – Edgar Allan Poe

When a madman appears thoroughly sane, indeed, it is high time to put him in a straight jacket. – Edgar Allan Poe

Whether people grow fat by joking, or whether there is something in fat itself which predisposes to a joke, I have never been quite able to determine… – Edgar Allan Poe

While the angels, all pallid and wan,
Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man”,
And its hero the Conqueror Worm. – Edgar Allan Poe

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. – Edgar Allan Poe

Yes I now feel that it was then on that evening of sweet dreams- that the very first dawn of human love burst upon the icy night of my spirit. Since that period I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight half of anxiety. – Edgar Allan Poe

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this Is a world of sweets and sours; Our flowers are merely—flowers. – Edgar Allan Poe

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely—flowers. – Edgar Allan Poe

Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. – Edgar Allan Poe

Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart – one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? – Edgar Allan Poe

Yet mad I am not…and very surely do I not dream. – Edgar Allan Poe

Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream. – Edgar Allan Poe

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. – Edgar Allan Poe

You call it hope-that fire of fire! It is but agony of desire. – Edgar Allan Poe

You need not attempt to shake off or to banter off Romance. It is an evil you will never get rid of to the end of your days. It is a part of yourself … of your soul. Age will only mellow it a little, and give it a holier tone. – Edgar Allan Poe

You will observe that the stories told are all about money-seekers, not about money-finders. – Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

Thought-Provoking Quotes

A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it. – Edgar Allan Poe

Actually, I do have doubts, all the time. Any thinking person does. There are so many sides to every question. –  Edgar Allan Poe

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. – Edgar Allan Poe

And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? – Edgar Allan Poe

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you. Here I opened wide the door; Darkness there, and nothing more. – Edgar Allan Poe

Art was, for Poe, the only method by which one could penetrate the shapeless empirical world in the search for order. – Edgar Allan Poe

Because it was my crime to have no one on Earth who cared for me, or loved me. – Edgar Allan Poe

Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see. – Edgar Allan Poe

Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day; or the agonies which are have their origins in ecstasies which might have been. – Edgar Allan Poe

Happiness is not to be found in knowledge, but in the acquisition of knowledge. – Edgar Allan Poe

He who pleases is of more importance to his fellow man than he who instructs. – Edgar Allen Poe

I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is madness – the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things. – Edgar Allen Poe

I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. – Edgar Allan Poe

I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched. – Edgar Allan Poe

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat. – Edgar Allan Poe

I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of Beauty. – Edgar Allan Poe

If we cannot comprehend God in his visible works, how then in his inconceivable thoughts, that call the works into being? – Edgar Allan Poe

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered. – Edgar Allan Poe

In one case out of a hundred a point is excessively discussed because it is obscure; in the ninety-nine remaining it is obscure because it is excessively discussed. – Edgar Allan Poe

Invisible things are the only realities. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is far more easy to get up than to come down. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is the nature of truth in general, as of some ores in particular, to be richest when most superficial. – Edgar Allan Poe

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore… – Edgar Allan Poe

Lord, help my poor soul. – Edgar Allan Poe

My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. – Edgar Allan Poe

Never to suffer would never to have been blessed. – Edgar Allan Poe

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. – Edgar Allan Poe

Sleep, those little slices of death how I loathe them. – Edgar Allan Poe

The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found. – Edgar Allan Poe

The generous Critic fann’d the Poet’s fire and taught the world with reason to admire. – Edgar Allan Poe

The idea of God, infinity, or spirit stands for the possible attempt at an impossible conception. – Edgar Allan Poe

The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are few persons who have not, at some period of their lives, amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained. – Edgar Allan Poe

There is an eloquence in true enthusiasm – Edgar Allan Poe

There is no beauty without some strangeness. –  Edgar Allan Poe

To observe attentively is to remember distinctly. – Edgar Allan Poe

True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. – Edgar Allan Poe

When, indeed, men speak of Beauty, they mean, precisely, not a quality, as is supposed, but an effect – they refer, in short, just to that intense and pure elevation of soul – not of intellect, or of heart. – Edgar Allan Poe

Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best have gone to their eternal rest. – Edgar Allan Poe

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. – Edgar Allan Poe

On Beauty

Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem. – Edgar Allan Poe

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. – Edgar Allan Poe

In beauty of face no maiden ever equaled her. It was the radiance of an opium-dream – an airy and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the fantasies which hovered about the slumbering souls of the daughters of Delos. – Edgar Allan Poe

No pictorial or sculptural combinations of points of human loveliness, do more than approach the living and breathing human beauty as it gladdens our daily path. – Edgar Allan Poe

There is no beauty without some strangeness – Edgar Allan Poe

When, indeed, men speak of Beauty, they mean, precisely, not a quality, as is supposed, but an effect – they refer, in short, just to that intense and pure elevation of soul – not of intellect, or of heart. – Edgar Allan Poe

There is no exquisite beauty…without some strangeness in the proportion. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. – Edgar Allan Poe

On Dreams

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. – Edgar Allan Poe

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. – Edgar Allan Poe, Eleanora

It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream. – Edgar Allan Poe, Marginalia

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.  – Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream. – Edgar Allan Poe, A Dream Within A Dream

And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams–
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams. – Edgar Allan Poe, To One in Paradise

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.– Edgar Allan Poe

On Death

The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world. – Edgar Allan Poe, The Philosophy of Composition

Deep in earth my love is lying
And I must weep alone. – Edgar Allan Poe, A couplet

Even in the grave, all is not lost. – Edgar Allan Poe

To die laughing must be the most glorious of all glorious deaths! – Edgar Allan Poe, The Assignation

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? – Edgar Allan Poe, The Premature Burial

Come! let the burial rite be read–the funeral song be sung!—
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young—
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young. – Edgar Allan Poe, Lenore

Thank Heaven! the crisis—
The danger is past,
And the lingering illness,
Is over at last—
And the fever called Living,
Is conquered at last. – Edgar Allan Poe, For Annie

I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. – Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all. – Edgar Allan Poe

From a proud tower in the town, Death looks gigantically down. – Edgar Allan Poe

I could have clasped the red walls to my bosom as a garment of eternal peace. “Death,” I said, “any death but that of the pit!” Fool! might I have not known that into the pit it was the object of the burning iron to urge me? – Edgar Allan Poe

In death – no! even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no immortality for man. Arousing from the most profound slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream. Yet in a second afterward, (so frail may that web have been) we remember not that we have dreamed. – Edgar Allan Poe

In the deepest slumber-no! In delirium-no! In a swoon-no! In death-no! even in the grave all is not lost. – Edgar Allan Poe

Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them. – Edgar Allan Poe

On Life

Life is for the strong, to be lived by the strong and if need be, taken by the strong. The weak were put on earth to give the strong pleasure. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom. – Edgar Allan Poe

Man’s real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so. – Edgar Allan Poe

The best things in life make you sweaty. – Edgar Allan Poe

I intend to put up with nothing that I can put down. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are two bodies – the rudimental and the complete; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly. What we call “death,” is but the painful metamorphosis. Our present incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design. – Edgar Allan Poe

The ninety and nine are with dreams, content, but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true. – Edgar Allan Poe

Mysteries force a man to think, and so injure his health. – Edgar Allan Poe

Art is to look at not to criticize. – Edgar Allan Poe

I dread the events of the future, not in themselves but in their results. – Edgar Allan Poe

There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. – Edgar Allan Poe

I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind. – Edgar Allan Poe

Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger, portion of truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant. – Edgar Allan Poe

And all I loved, I loved alone. – Edgar Allan Poe

Deep in earth my love is lying/And I must weep alone. – Edgar Allan Poe

That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward. – Edgar Allan Poe

Stupidity is a talent for misconception. – Edgar Allan Poe

Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear. – Edgar Allan Poe

Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute. – Edgar Allan Poe

I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. – Edgar Allan Poe

I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. – Edgar Allan Poe

It is a happiness to wonder; it is a happiness to dream. – Edgar Allan Poe

Now this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded… – Edgar Allan Poe

Since that period, I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight half of anxiety. – Edgar Allan Poe

That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful. – Edgar Allan Poe

To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness. – Edgar Allan Poe

We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams. – Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

On Love 

And so being young and dipped in folly I fell in love with melancholy. – Edgar Allan Poe

And this maiden she lived with no other thought, Than to love and be loved by me. – Edgar Allan Poe

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above, The angels, whispering to one another, Can find, among their burning terms of love, None so devotional as that of ‘Mother.’ – Edgar Allan Poe, To My Mother

But our love it was stronger by far than the love, Of those who were older than we, Of many far wiser than we. – Edgar Allan Poe

But our love was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we Of many far wiser than we And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee. – Edgar Allan Poe

Deep in earth my love is lying, And I must weep alone. – Edgar Allan Poe

For passionate love is still divine
I lov’d her as an angel might
With ray of the all living light
Which blazes upon Edis’ shrine. – Edgar Allan Poe, Tamerlane

From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone. – Edgar Allan Poe

I have no words — alas! — to tell, The loveliness of loving well! – Edgar Allan Poe

I have no words alas! to tell the loveliness of loving well – Edgar Allan Poe

I was a child and she was a child, In this kingdom by the sea; But we loved with a love that was more than love- I and my Annabel Lee; With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven Coveted her and me. – Edgar Allan Poe

Imperceptibly the love of these discords grew upon me as my love of music grew stronger. – Edgar Allan Poe

In the Heaven’s above, the angels, whispering to one another, can find, among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of ‘Mother. – Edgar Allan Poe

It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee;– And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me. – Edgar Allan Poe

Love like mine can never be gotten over. – Edgar Allan Poe

There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man. – Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

This maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me. – Edgar Allan Poe

Thou wast that all to me, love,
For which my soul did pine —
A green isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine. – Edgar Allan Poe

Thou wouldst be loved? – then let thy heart From its present pathway part not! Being everything which now thou art, Be nothing which thou art not. So with the world thy gentle ways, Thy grace, thy more than beauty, Shall be an endless theme of praise, And love – a simple duty. – Edgar Allan Poe

Thou wouldst be loved? – then let thy heart
From its present pathway part not!
Being everything which now thou art,
Be nothing which thou art not.
So with the world thy gentle ways,
Thy grace, thy more than beauty,
Shall be an endless theme of praise,
And love – a simple duty. – Edgar Allan Poe

We loved with a love that was more than love. – Edgar Allan Poe

We loved with a love that was more than love…With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven/Coveted her and me. – Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee

When I was young and filled with folly, I fell in love with melancholy – Edgar Allan Poe

With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven, Coveted her and me. – Edgar Allan Poe

Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute. – Edgar Allan Poe

Years of love have been forgotten, in the hatred of a minute. – Edgar Allan Poe

Yes, I now feel that it was then on that evening of sweet dreams—that the very first dawn of human love burst upon the icy night of my spirit. Since that period I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight half of anxiety. – Edgar Allan Poe, a letter to Sarah Helen Whitman

Yes,” I said, “for the love of God! – Edgar Allan Poe

Yet we met; and fate bound us together at the alter,and I never spoke of passion nor thought of love. She, however shunned society, and, attaching herself to me alone rendered me happy. It is a happiness to wonder; it is a happiness to dream. – Edgar Allan Poe

On Madness

And much of Madness, and more of Sin,
And Horror the soul of the plot. – Edgar Allan Poe

He knew that Hop-Frog was not fond of wine; for it excited the poor cripple almost to madness; and madness is no comfortable feeling. – Edgar Allan Poe

I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is madness – the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things. – Edgar Allan Poe

Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence— whether much that is glorious— whether all that is profound— does not spring from disease of thought— from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. – Edgar Allan Poe

Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence. – Edgar Allan Poe

That which you mistake for madness is but an over acuteness of the senses. – Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence… – Edgar Allan Poe, Eleanora

I was never really insane, except on occasions where my heart was touched. – Edgar Allan Poe, a letter to Maria Clemm

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. – Edgar Allan Poe, a letter to George W. Eveleth

And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but overacuteness of the senses? – Edgar Allan Poe

On Poetry and  Poems

A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young. – Edgar Allan Poe

A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity. – Edgar Allan Poe

A million candles have burned themselves out. Still I read on. – Edgar Allan Poe (Montresor)

And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all. – Edgar Allan Poe

Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die. – Edgar Allan Poe

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And the stars never rise but I feel the bright eyes of the beautiful Annabel Lee. – Edgar Allan Poe

I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as the Rhythmical Creation of Beauty. Its sole arbiter is taste. With the intellect or with the conscience, it has only collateral relations. Unless incidentally, it has no concern whatever either with duty or with truth. – Edgar Allan Poe

If a poem hasn’t ripped apart your soul; you haven’t experienced poetry. – Edgar Allan Poe

In our endeavors to recall to memory something long forgotten, we often find ourselves upon the very verge of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember. – Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words. – Edgar Allan Poe

The rain came down upon my head – Unshelter’d. And the wind rendered me mad and deaf and blind. – Edgar Allan Poe

There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust. – Edgar Allan Poe

To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary. – Edgar Allan Poe

Villains!’ I shrieked. ‘Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It is the beating of his hideous heart! – Edgar Allan Poe

Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path. – Edgar Allan Poe

With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind. – Edgar Allan Poe

With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion. – Edgar Allan Poe

On Strangeness

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. – Edgar Allan Poe, Alone

Although I saw that the features of Ligeia were not of a classic regularity—although I perceived that her loveliness was indeed ‘exquisite,’ and felt that there was much of ‘strangeness’ pervading it, yet I have tried in vain to detect the irregularity and to trace home my own perception of ‘the strange.’ – Edgar Allan Poe, Ligeia

It was a freak of fancy in my friend…to be enamored of the night for her own sake; and into this bizarrerie, as into all his others, I quietly fell; giving myself up to his wild whims with a perfect abandon. – Edgar Allan Poe, The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

From Wikiquotes

  • A dark unfathom’d tide
    Of interminable pride —
    A mystery, and a dream,
    Should my early life seem.

    • “Imitation”, Tamerlane and Other Poems (1827).
  • O, human love! thou spirit given,
    On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!

    • “Tamerlane”, l. 177 (1827).
  • The happiest day — the happiest hour
    My sear’d and blighted heart hath known,
    The highest hope of pride and power,
    I feel hath flown.

    • “The Happiest Day”, st. 1 (1827).
  • Sound loves to revel in a summer night.
    • Al Aaraaf (1829).
  • Years of love have been forgot
    In the hatred of a minute.

    • To M——— (1829), reported in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919).
  • 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 —

    • “Alone”, l. 1-8 (written 1829, published 1875).
  • And the cloud that took the form
    (When the rest of Heaven was blue)
    Of a demon in my view.

    • “Alone”, l. 20-22.
  • Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
    The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
    The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

    • “Sonnet. To Science”, l. 12-14 (1829).
  • It is with literature as with law or empire — an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.
    • “Letter to Mr. B — “, preface to Poems (1831).
  • Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music without the idea is simply music; the idea without the music is prose from its very definitiveness.
    • “Letter to Mr. B — “.
  • Helen, thy beauty is to me
    Like those Nicean barks of yore,
    That gently, o’er a perfumed sea,
    The weary, wayworn wanderer bore
    To his own native shore.

    On desperate seas long wont to roam,
    Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face,
    Thy Naiad airs have brought me home
    To the glory that was Greece
    And the grandeur that was Rome.

    • “To Helen”, st. 1-2 (1831).
  • Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
    Is a world of sweets and sours;
    Our flowers are merely—flowers.

    • “Israfel”, st. 7 (1831).
  • If I could dwell
    Where Israfel
    Hath dwelt, and he where I,
    He might not sing so wildly well
    A mortal melody,
    While a bolder note than this might swell
    From my lyre within the sky.

    • “Israfel”, st. 8 (1831).
  • Come! let the burial rite be read — the funeral song be sung! —
    An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young —
    A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

    • “Lenore”, st. 1 (1831).
  • Vastness! and Age! and Memories of Eld!
    Silence! and Desolation! and dim Night!
    I feel ye now — I feel ye in your strength.

    • “The Coliseum”, st. 2 (1833).
  • Thou wast that all to me, love,
    For which my soul did pine —

    A green isle in the sea, love,
    A fountain and a shrine,
    All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
    And all the flowers were mine.

    • “To One in Paradise”, st. 1 (1834).
  • And all my days are trances,
    And all my nightly dreams
    Are where thy grey eye glances,
    And where thy footstep gleams —
    In what ethereal dances,
    By what eternal streams.

    • “To One In Paradise”, st. 4; variants of this verse read “where thy dark eye glances”.
  • Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.
    • “Berenice” (1835).
  • And as, in ethics, Evil is a consequence of Good, so, in fact, out of Joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are, have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.
    • “Berenice”.
  • There is then no analogy whatever between the operations of the Chess-Player, and those of the calculating machine of Mr. Babbage, and if we choose to call the former a pure machine we must be prepared to admit that it is, beyond all comparison, the most wonderful of the inventions of mankind.
    • Poe stating his arguments that Maelzel’s Chess-Player was a hoax. Maelzel’s Chess-Player, Southern Literary Journal (April 1836).
  • During the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.
    • “The Fall of the House of Usher” (1839).
  • In the greenest of our valleys
    By good angels tenanted,
    Once a fair and stately palace —
    Radiant palace — reared its head.

    • “The Haunted Palace” (1839), st. 1.
  • This—all this—was in the olden
    Time long ago.

    • “The Haunted Palace” (1839), st. 2.
  • While, like a ghastly rapid river,
    Through the pale door
    A hideous throng rush out forever
    And laugh — but smile no more.

    • “The Haunted Palace” (1839), st. 5.
  • Few persons can be made to believe that it is not quite an easy thing to invent a method of secret writing which shall baffle investigation. Yet it may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve.
    • “A Few Words on Secret Writing” in Graham’s Magazine (July 1841).
  • They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
    • “Eleonora” (1841).
  • Had the routine of our life at this place been known to the world, we should have been regarded as madmen —; although, perhaps, as madmen of a harmless nature.
    • “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841).
  • “The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all these more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind.”
    • “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841).
  • To observe attentively is to remember distinctly.
    • “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841).
  • And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.
    • “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842).
  • While the angels, all pallid and wan,
    Uprising, unveiling, affirm
    That the play is the tragedy, “Man”,
    And its hero the Conqueror Worm.

    • “The Conqueror Worm” (1843), st. 5.
  • Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.
    • “Diddling: Considered As One Of The Exact Sciences”; first published as “Raising the Wind” in Saturday Courier (1843-10-14).
  • The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
    • “The Premature Burial” (1844).
  • By a route obscure and lonely,
    Haunted by ill angels only,

    Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
    On a black throne reigns upright,
    I have reached these lands but newly
    From an ultimate dim Thule —
    From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
    Out of SPACE — out of TIME.

    • “Dreamland”, st. 1 (1845).
  • With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not — they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.
    • The Raven and Other Poems (1845), Preface
  • Thou wouldst be loved? — then let thy heart
    From its present pathway part not!
    Being everything which now thou art,
    Be nothing which thou art not.
    So with the world thy gentle ways,
    Thy grace, thy more than beauty,
    Shall be an endless theme of praise,
    And love — a simple duty.

    • “To Frances S. Osgood” (1845).
  • The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.
    • “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846).
  • For the love of God Montresor!
    • “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846).
  • Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.
    • “The Philosophy of Composition” (published 1846).
  • The death then of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.
    • “The Philosophy of Composition” (published 1846).
  • The object, Truth, or the satisfaction of the intellect, and the object, Passion, or the excitement of the heart, are, although attainable, to a certain extent, in poetry, far more readily attainable in prose.
    • The Philosophy of Composition (published 1846).
  • I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
    • Letter to George W. Eveleth, Jan. 4, 1848.
  • Can it be fancied that Deity ever vindictively
    Made in his image a mannikin merely to madden it?

    • “The Rationale of Verse”, III (1848); this is comparable to: “”What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke / A conscious Something to resent the yoke”, FitzGerald, Omar Khayyám.
  • There is no oath which seems to me so sacred as that sworn by the all-divine love I bear you. — By this love, then, and by the God who reigns in Heaven, I swear to you that my soul is incapable of dishonor — that, with the exception of occasional follies and excesses which I bitterly lament, but to which I have been driven by intolerable sorrow, and which are hourly committed by others without attracting any notice whatever — I can call to mind no act of my life which would bring a blush to my cheek — or to yours. If I have erred at all, in this regard, it has been on the side of what the world would call a Quixotic sense of the honorable — of the chivalrous.
    • “Letter to Mrs. Whitman” (1848-10-18).
  • Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path.
    • “Letter to Frederick W. Thomas” (1849-02-14).
  • Gaily bedight,
    A gallant knight,
    In sunshine and in shadow,
    Had journeyed long,
    Singing a song,
    In search of Eldorado.

    • “Eldorado”, st. 1 (1849).
  • “Over the Mountains
    Of the Moon,
    Down the Valley of the Shadow,
    Ride, boldly ride,”
    The shade replied, —
    “If you seek for Eldorado!”

    • “Eldorado”, st. 4.
  • 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.

    • “A Dream Within a Dream” (1849).
  • O God! Can I not save
    One from the pitiless wave?
    Is all that we see or seem
    But a dream within a dream?

    • “A Dream Within A Dream” (1849).
  • Thank Heaven! the crisis —
    The danger is past,
    And the lingering illness
    Is over at last —
    And the fever called “Living”
    Is conquered at last.

    • “For Annie”, st. 1 (1849).
  • Keeping time, time, time,
    In a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
    From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
    Bells, bells, bells.

    • “The Bells”, st. 1 (1849).
  • Hear the mellow wedding bells
    Golden bells!
    What a world of happiness their harmony foretells
    Through the balmy air of night
    How they ring out their delight!

    • “The Bells”, st. 2 (1849).
  • As for myself, I am simply Hop-Frog, the jester — and this is my last jest.
    • “Hop-Frog” (1850).
  • I attacked with great resolution the editorial matter, and, reading it from beginning to end without understanding a syllable, conceived the possibility of its being Chinese, and so re-read it from the end to the beginning, but with no more satisfactory result.
    • “The Angel of the Odd” (1850).
  • These fellows, knowing the extravagant gullibility of the age, set their wits to work in the imagination of improbable possibilities — of odd accidents, as they term them; but to a reflecting intellect (like mine,” I added, in parenthesis, putting my forefinger unconsciously to the side of my nose,) “to a contemplative understanding such as I myself possess, it seems evident at once that the marvelous increase of late in these ‘odd accidents’ is by far the oddest accident of all. For my own part, I intend to believe nothing henceforward that has anything of the ‘singular’ about it.
    • “The Angel Of The Odd: An Extravaganza”.
  • Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.
    • “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether” (1845)

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

The City in the Sea

  • Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
    In a strange city lying alone
    Far down within the dim West,
    Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
    Have gone to their eternal rest. St. 1.
  • So blend the turrets and shadows there
    That all seem pendulous in air,
    While from a proud tower in the town
    Death looks gigantically down. St. 2.
  • And when, amid no earthly moans,
    Down, down that town shall settle hence,
    Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
    Shall do it reverence. St. 5.

William Wilson

  • A large mirror,—so at first it seemed to me in my confusion—now stood where none had been perceptible before; and, as I stepped up to it in extremity of terror, mine own image, but with features all pale and dabbled in blood, advanced to meet me with a feeble and tottering gait.
  • Thus it appeared, I say, but was not. It was my antagonist—it was Wilson, who then stood before me in the agonies of his dissolution. His mask and cloak lay, where he had thrown them, upon the floor. Not a thread in all his raiment—not a line in all the marked and singular lineaments of his face which was not, even in the most absolute identity, mine own!
  • It was Wilson; but he spoke no longer in a whisper, and I could have fancied that I myself was speaking while he said:
  • “You have conquered, and I yield. Yet, henceforward art thou also dead—dead to the World, to Heaven and to Hope! In me didst thou exist—and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.”

The Tell-Tale Heart

  • TRUE! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?
  • Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees — very gradually — I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.
  • And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? — now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.
  • If you still think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
  • “Villains!” I shrieked, “dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!”

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

The Black Cat

  • For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul.
  • There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
  • I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence.
  • One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fiber of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a penknife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket!
  • Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart — one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a stupid action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgement, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such?
  • Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates — the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind; while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers.
  • It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night — and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul!
  • For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next, a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!

Marginalia

  • If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.
  • After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that can be thought on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most superficial sentiment.
  • A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this — that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made, not to understand, but to feel, as crime.
  • If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize at one effort the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own — the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple — a few plain words — “My Heart Laid Bare.” But — this little book must be true to its title.
  • How many good books suffer neglect through the inefficiency of their beginnings!
  • In reading some books we occupy ourselves chiefly with the thoughts of the author; in perusing others, exclusively with our own.
  • I have sometimes amused myself by endeavouring to fancy what would be the fate of an individual gifted, or rather accursed, with an intellect very far superior to that of his race. Of course he would be conscious of his superiority; nor could he (if otherwise constituted as man is) help manifesting his consciousness. Thus he would make himself enemies at all points. And since his opinions and speculations would widely differ from those of all mankind — that he would be considered a madman is evident. How horribly painful such a condition! Hell could invent no greater torture than that of being charged with abnormal weakness on account of being abnormally strong.

    In like manner, nothing can be clearer than that a very generous spirit — truly feeling what all merely profess — must inevitably find itself misconceived in every direction — its motives misinterpreted. Just as extremeness of intelligence would be thought fatuity, so excess of chivalry could not fail of being looked upon as meanness in the last degree — and so on with other virtues. This subject is a painful one indeed. That individuals have so soared above the plane of their race is scarcely to be questioned; but, in looking back through history for traces of their existence, we should pass over all the biographies of the “good and the great,” while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows.

  • Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term “Art,” I should call it “the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.” The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of “Artist”.
  • I have great faith in fools — self-confidence my friends will call it.
  • That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

The Raven

  • Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
    Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,

    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

    • Stanza 1.
  • Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
    And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

    • Stanza 2.
  • Sorrow for the lost Lenore —
    For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —
    Nameless here for evermore.

    • Stanza 2.
  • And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
    Thrilled me — filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before.

    • Stanza 3.
  • Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
    Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

    • Stanza 5.
  • Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door,—
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

    • Stanza 7.
  • “Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore —
    Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

    • Stanza 8.
  • “Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
    Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
    Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore.

    • Stanza 11.
  • “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! — prophet still, if bird or devil!”
    • Stanza 15.
  • “Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
    Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
    Leave my loneliness unbroken! — quit the bust above my door!
    Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
    Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

    • Stanza 17.
  • And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
    On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door.

    • Stanza 18.
  • And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
    Shall be lifted — nevermore!

    • Stanza 18.

Ulalume

  • The skies they were ashen and sober;
    The leaves they were crisped and sere —
    The leaves they were withering and sere;
    It was night in the lonesome October
    Of my most immemorial year.

    • St. 1.
  • Here once, through an alley Titanic,
    Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul —
    Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.

    • St. 2.
  • Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
    And tempted her out of her gloom.

    • St. 8.

Annabel Lee

  • It was many and many a year ago,
    In a kingdom by the sea,
    That a maiden lived whom you may know
    By the name of Annabel Lee; —

    And this maiden she lived with no other thought
    Than to love and be loved by me.

    • St. 1.
  • I was a child and she was a child,
    In this kingdom by the sea,
    But we loved with a love that was more than love —
    I and my Annabel Lee —

    With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
    Coveted her and me.

    • St. 2.
  • But our love it was stronger by far than the love
    Of those who were older than we —
    Of many far wiser than we —
    And neither the angels in Heaven above
    Nor the demons down under the sea
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee

    • St. 5.
  • In her sepulcher there by the sea —
    In her tomb by the sounding sea.

    • St. 6.

The Poetic Principle

  • A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul.
  • I hold that a long poem does not exist. I maintain that the phrase, “a long poem,” is simply a flat contradiction in terms.
    I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. But all excitements are, through a psychal necessity, transient. That degree of excitement which would entitle a poem to be so called at all, cannot be sustained throughout a composition of any great length.
  • There neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified — more supremely noble than this very poem — this poem per se — this poem which is a poem and nothing more — this poem written solely for the poem’s sake.
  • I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as the Rhythmical Creation of Beauty. Its sole arbiter is taste. With the intellect or with the conscience, it has only collateral relations. Unless incidentally, it has no concern whatever either with duty or with truth.

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe was an American author, poet, editor and literary critic, who was also associated with the American Romantic Movement. He was better known for his tales of mystery and macabre. He was amongst the earliest American practitioners of short story and was generally considered as the inventor of the detective-fiction genre. Poe is also credited for his contribution in the emerging genre of science fiction. His works greatly influenced American literature and also other specialized fields like, cosmology and cryptography. His best known fiction works were generally Gothic and dealt with themes like the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning. Poe’s works are also considered as the part of dark romanticism genre. He became famous for his popular poems like, The Raven and Annabel Lee.

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