Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

To M.L.S.


Of all who hail thy presence as the morning-
Of all to whom thine absence is the night-
The blotting utterly from out high heaven
The sacred sun- of all who, weeping, bless thee
Hourly for hope- for life- ah! above all,
For the resurrection of deep-buried faith
In Truth- in Virtue- in Humanity-
Of all who, on Despair's unhallowed bed
Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen
At thy soft-murmured words, "Let there be light!"
At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled
In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes-
Of all who owe thee most- whose gratitude
Nearest resembles worship- oh, remember
The truest- the most fervently devoted,
And think that these weak lines are written by him-
By him who, as he pens them, thrills to think
His spirit is communing with an angel's.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Doug Tatz (5/24/2007 9:10:00 PM)

    Some poeple may question the reason of their existence. They see poeple acting foolish. They

    wonder what they could possibly contribute to the world. In O me! O life! , by Walt Whitman, the

    speaker questions the reason for his existence and his part in the big picture.

    The speaker sees many poeple, but what are they really doing in life? He sees 'endless trains

    of the faithless—of cities fill’d with the foolish, ' but he doesnt think he is any better than the rest.

    'Myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)

    He wants to see new improvements and creations, but all he sees is 'the poor results of all—

    of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me.' He doesn't know what good there is in people;

    how creative they can be and what they can achieve. The speaker has the mindset of 'if they can't,

    then I can't.'

    So, he also questions himself, and what good he can do as an individual. He knows he has a

    wasted past behind him; 'Of the empty and useless years of the rest, ' and doesn't think he can do

    anything important. The speaker may be considering someing drastic, like suicide, or simply making a

    prayer. However, the answer is found: 'That you are here—that life exists, and identity;

    That the powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse.'
    (Report) Reply

Read all 1 comments »

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