Analysis of ‘Alone’ by Edgar Allen Poe
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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 Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe is known as the man who is mostly ‘remarkably incapable of analysis’. His poems are dark and brooding, and reflect his gloomy life.
The obvious theme in this poem is difference. Poe is saying in a descriptive way that he never really fit in, ( as most of his poems and stories are a reflection of either his own life or are imaginary yet influenced by something deep in his creative yet depressive mind) and pretty much the whole first half of the poem is dedicated to proving he was ‘alone’.
When saying ‘I could not bring my passions from a common spring’, and ‘All that I loved, I loved alone’, he is portraying a picture of melancholy isolation, a childhood ripped bare, not enjoying the joys that other children received. But he wasn’t going to configure himself to abide by what other children’s interests were. He was intent on paving his own path, and when he says, ‘in my childhood, in the dawn
of a most stormy life’ he is not complaining about how his life his passed, he is simply stating that his life has been dark and gloomy.
This poem is written in the AABBAABB form of rhyming, yet in the first stanza you have to read half of the next line along with the previous one to make sense of it all. There are some poems or songs that only makes sense when read out loud or sung, but this is exactly the opposite. The last two lines prevent the poem from making much sense if read out loud, as you can’t exactly read out brackets. It has to be seen on paper to be made sense of. The imagery portrayed in the last stanza puts a picturesque view in your head, and then starkly contrasts with the dark ‘demon cloud’.
I love Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry, and his stories such as The Tell Tale Heart. His poems are so gloomy they intrigue me.