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A Dream Within A Dream

Edgar Allan Poe

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my understanding
Added by: nobody
i think it has something to do about life, and how people's lives just slip by like the grauins of sand, and the narrator, or rather the poet, is asking if only he could save one ( a person) from the pitiless wave (which i think means death). i don't know if this is correct, but this is how i understand the poetry...
Added by: dark lord
As someone who writes alot of poetry, I think people think way too much. Sure some poems do have either secret, or in your face meanings, but more often than not, they are simply what they, are a poem. In my experience the rhythm of a poem far exceeds the meaning
A Dream Within A dream-comments
Added by: Alexandra
To be honest when I read the poem once I liked it just the way it sounded. The whole impression of it is very complicated.
While going through the first part of it I got a feeling that in it Poe is talking to somebody he was very close to in his real life. And then I began realizing that, probably this person canít be with him any more, because she is dead.
At the beginning I was I little bit confused what emotions the writer felt and how he was trying to share them with others. But I think they were strong enough so the reader could feel otherís fear and hopeless of the situation he was in at that time.

First of all I understood, that I extremely afraid of death. I mean not only my own death, but death of my close friends, my parents. It seems for me so much harder to see the person, who is close to you, healthy and alive and some time later you just have to realize that you wonít be able to see her again smiling or saying something to you.
But as a matter of fact I canít even imagine what is going on with your heart and soul when your loved one dies. And there is a border between you forever-the border which you canít cross. The only thing you can do just to try to be closer - die too.
As for me the most horrible thing I can draw in my mind is when person wish his death. And the example of such wish is given in this poem- when the world has no colors, no sounds, life starts to be boring and you canít be together with your loved women or man-there is one thing left: die.
In my opinion the most important word in the poem is dream- this word gives us almost full characteristics of it. Edgar Allan Poe is trying to say that no matter what we all are thinking about, what life we are living and how-we all will die in one day. Who knows if will remember everything about our life after death? May be we will just forget about our loved ones and wonít feel time at all. Anyway if that is true, then our life is no more than just a dream.
P.S I did the whole project on this peom. I love it so much!
Added by: Danielle
I've always tried never to disect a poem, for me its better to feel the poem rather understand it. i read it repeatedly, and then i just kinda know... well that my way.. everyone has their own...

this made me feel like i am slipping away from something. and that everything is temporary...
Added by: Mr. X
This is one confusing poem. I believe that Poe got rejected by somthing. It could have been a women. His prospective on life goes bad. He realizes his life isn't even a dream, it's a dream within a dream. His kife is meaningless. In the second stanza he sees his life and all his treasures. His hopes, dreams, time, friends, lovers, all he holds dear is the sand. The tormented shore means that Poe has already lost some of his life's treasures. In his sadness and desperation Poe tries to save some of the sand but he can't even save one. All hope and meaning has left him. In his despair he ask the rethorical question is everything a dream within a dream. Poe wants to know why his life has to be so meaningless!
Added by: mr. f
i feel like, in the beginning lines, hes talking about someone he loved who was leaving him because she felt that what they had could never last and could never really be real, and he was saying that she might be right, but why should it matter that they dont have any real hope for the future when nothing else is real to hope for anyways. He says "Yet if hope has flown away In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone? " and its like hes saying that since nothing is real, maybe the loss of hope isn't real, its just a dream, and they really can have hope.when he talks about the sand i think its not necessarily time or people, its good things in his life that keep him from despair, and she was one of them. at the end it seems like he might be wondering how he could have lost her when he never really had her to begin with, hence the last line: "is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream"
different interpretations
Added by: rose
A freudian analysis of this poem reveals underlying sexual desires and longings: 'Take this kiss upon the brow!", "in a night, or in a day", "I stand amid the roar of a surf-tormented shore" This links in with the concept of the dream, which is also associated with Freud. From an existentialist interpretation, this poem is about the futility and meaninglessness of life. Another interpretation may be that this poem is about Jesus before his death. think about it.
Added by: j snale
It give me hope in hoplessness and always has. the more we stray from our dream the more reality weighs us down.
Added by: earick
I think this poem is talking about someone who is frustrated and lost because of losing someone or something very dear to him. It seems that he is kissing goodbye to something and is not sure if something that good actually happened to him. He is asking questions that show how he has given up hope. Probably he was hoping for the thing lost to return for so long that he forgot what it really was that he missed. Thats why hes wondering if things are all dreams because after you experience a dream you dont remember it in the morning. I think he is standing by the ocean trying to remember a touching moment or event that he may have experienced there. But the sand falling through his hands shows that he cant grasp the lovely feeling he felt before and he is therefore sad.
Added by: DarkMage
I think that the poem has nothing to do with love or a loved one. I think that the poem has to do with him not understanding his existence. not only questioning it but actually not understanding it. He is wondering if everything is just a "dream within a dream" and if everything that he has felt and done been just his or someone else's dream. and in the second stanza he is wondering if any of it will end as he watches the sand which represents time. And he stands on the beach frustrated because he doesnt understand any of it

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