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Featured Poem: Alone – Edgar Allen Poe

Written by The Reader, 24th April 2018

In Alone, Poe reflects upon a life experienced as an emotional outsider.

The narrator’s experience of perceiving life and emotions differently to others in Edgar Allen Poe's Alone, has led to him feeling isolated and here he is questioning why he sees things so differently. The beauty and irony of Alone's major theme - that of feeling isolated, different, misunderstood - is one that many people can relate to, the very act of expressing these feelings through poetry connects the writer with others who feel the same.

Edgar Allen Poe’s early life was full of tragedy and by the time this poem is thought to have been written, despite his relatively young age, he had experienced a large amount of loss. Known for his darker-themed works, it perhaps makes sense in this context that where others see a blue sky, he often struggled to see past the ‘demon in his view’.

Alone

 

From childhood's hour I have not been

As others were; I have not seen

As others saw; I could not bring

My passions from a common spring.

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow; I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone;

And all I loved, I loved alone.

Then- in my childhood, in the dawn

Of a most stormy life- was drawn

From every depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still:

From the torrent, or the fountain,

From the red cliff of the mountain,

From the sun that round me rolled

In its autumn tint of gold,

From the lightning in the sky

As it passed me flying by,

From the thunder and the storm,

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view.

 

Edgar Allen Poe

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