Treasure Island

Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

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A Dream


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?

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Read poems about / on: dream, lonely, star, truth, joy, light, dark, night, world, life

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  • Kuntak Saha (2/24/2014 4:05:00 AM)

    To comment is easy but to make one beautiful poem like this is truly tough. It would be underestimating such a beautiful poems in words (at least I think so) . (Report) Reply

  • Ginger Caine (10/24/2013 9:31:00 AM)

    I could relate to this poem. He lost a loved one, most likely this is written about his wife, Virginia, who died of tuberculosis. This poem is lovely! (Report) Reply

  • Gogo Amin (5/9/2013 10:47:00 PM)

    guide to where? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? /// (Report) Reply

  • Jordan Black (4/2/2013 6:49:00 AM)

    I think he speaks of a lighthouse guiding him through the storm the lighthouse his lover of course who haunts him in his dreams the place where a lonely spirit roams an the day star the sun awakening him in the morning his joy departed. (Report) Reply

  • Benjamin Pagnut (9/29/2012 6:56:00 PM)

    I think this poem fully reflects on apple steak, covering every aspect of it. Superb work done, Poe. (Report) Reply

  • Bob Harris (12/25/2011 1:38:00 AM)

    To me, it is a sad poem of one who dreams at night of past joy but by light of day neither sees nor foresees love. (Report) Reply

  • Narayana Santhanam (6/2/2009 11:22:00 PM)

    Poe reveals that he has been numbed by pain in his life-to the effect that he feels he is in a state between waking and sleeping ('waking dream of life and light hath left me broken hearted') .

    But it isn't just pain. There was something good in his past. He explains that in addition, he chooses to focus on whatever was good in the past (he later refers to this as 'that holy dream', 'lovely beam', 'light trembled from afar') . To the extent that he relegates his real life to the reality level of a dream ('What is not a dream by day') .

    He acknowledges this fixation on the past might just be a dim flicker of hope (light trembled from afar) for his current state (thro' storm and night) . But then, it is what cheered him (third stanza) -and more importantly, it is the only thing with him (lonely spirit guiding) -he concludes by asking what else might have possibly helped him more?

    The last line is a statement of hope, hiding a note of desperation (there is no help Poe can think of, other than his memories) . (Report) Reply

  • Gaurav Gupta (5/27/2009 10:55:00 AM)

    Its a very interesting poem that describes a man who is in search of happiness and how does he get that happiness is also described in the poem. I think it is a poem mainly based on the poet that is Edgar Allan Poe because if you have read his biography who would firstly notice that his life was full of sorrow and disaster. I love this poem because it tells us that if there is sorrow in your heart you should not be afraid of anything, you should face that situation and come out with happin ess as your trophy. So, where there is a will there is a way. (Report) Reply

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