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Edgar Allen Poe Essay, Research Paper

Poe is unquestionably one of the great American writers of all time. He was far ahead of his time with his vision of a special area of human experience the “inner world” of dream, hallucination, and imagination. There is a distinct connection between Poe’s nightmarish life and his works. His fictional works resemble a distressed individual who has a pattern of dreams night after night with the same repeating tone of terror. Critics interpret his works as being a search going deep into himself and arriving at the unplumbed mystery of his innerself. He has accomplished himself with that search and characterized the twentieth century with his art. Few poets followed their own theories more completely than Poe. His popularity is due to his consistency in producing a universal appealing effect. “A Poe setting, atmosphere, or situation is instantly recognizable.” All of his poetry is based on carefully thought out principles of artistic creativity, and his biggest concern as a poet was the effect he could produce on the reader with those principles.Poe’s poetry covered these themes in a way that they all compliment each other. The theme most revolved around by the others is ideal beauty. In using marshalling verse, imagery, rythym, rhyme, and subject matter a poet tries to capture the impression of beauty. Poe’s simple definition for beauty was this: “The pleasurable excitement of the soul as it reaches for a perfection beyond this earth.” When attaining the unattainable, supernatural beauty a poet cannot use ordinary logic or reason, he must grasp it only aesthetically, not rationally. Poe felt that for a poet to seek appropriate images for ideal beauty he should avoid concrete, ordinary objects of everyday life. Realms of dream, fantasy, the subconscious, and glimpses of life after death are more appropriate images. Poe’s simple task in poetry was to induce a state of mind in the reader in which he explores his own thoughts searching for ideal beauty. Poe’s poetry style is no doubt a style of its own and will never be duplicated by any in the centuries to come. His own life was too influential and too unique which is quite possibly the foundation of his works. Though his works are not easy to replicate they will never be forgotten. All throughout the world and for an eternity, lines and phrases from poems such as “Annabel Lee,” “Ulalume,” and “The Raven” will be etched within our minds.


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