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A Dream Within A Dream

Edgar Allan Poe

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Added by: Victor
this poem itself is like a dream, unpredictable. saying that ALL things that are seen are dreams within dreams might mean that it is difficult to expxose the truth that is reality. the failure to grasp at the sand might be the failure to comprehend reality. in that case the wave might be the dream within a dream.
Imaginary vs. Real
Added by: V Surya
In my opinion, Poe is describing his step from a dream into reality. He is parting away from this current dream and is in turn dreaming about leaving a dream. In the second half of the poem he is standing at the threshold of imagination and reality(the coast) holding the few remains of this dreamland which he wishes to keep. As he clenches his hands tighter on the sands, the seep through his fingers faster, indicating that the more he tries to live in a dream, the harder reality comes at him. I think that this reality could be either death or worldly objects and as he holds tighter onto life (or his worldy possession) the more it tries to escape him. This is what I inferred from the poem.
Added by: miguel
The narrator was probably adressing a woman who he had feelings for. He talks about how he is tormented and devestated because the woman left him. The narrator knows reality and what is really happening. He has a hard time believing it and asks himself if he is dreaming. He asks God why this is happening, and why he cant hold on with a tighter clasp.
Added by: ryan1312
This is a really interesting poem filled with imaginative descriptions. I like it because it brings up an abstract concept like the matrix. I also like how the poem offers an "escape" from the bad situation. I think the use of rhyming words really benefits the poem. I felt that the descriptions of the shore was very illustrative, which was very interesting.
Added by: jordan
I think that the first stanza was, like many have already said, him leaving a girl he loved. He seems to let his enjoyment of his time spent with her overcome the pain he is facing by leaving. That is why he refers to their time spent as a "dream within a dream." Almost like calling it a dream undermines the real significance it had on him. The second stanza is a bit darker and he begins to express his anguish. The "surf tormented shore" stands for his raging emotions.
Added by: horsespower2us
This poem starts of with a kiss of joy on the brow. Suddenly, this person starts to depart, losing all happiness and hope and nothing is what it seems. He then end up at the ocean feeling the breeze of air and sinking through the water then relize that it is just a dream. I think this poem is just an overview of people in general of have these types of dreams (from good to bak)
Added by: Bobo
This poem gives me the sense that Poe is actually having a dream, perhaps for a lover or a close friend. The first part is like seems like that are in the "loving" part of their dream. But the second parts acts like hes about to wake up and hes dreading too. He probualy wants to stay with his "lover", but sooner-or-later hes going to have to wake up. I believe that the title actually refers to a real dream, not like a goal or something.
Added by: Omer
I think that in the first stanza he is saying that a goodbye to someone will always be there. Even if you see it or not, it still exists. In the second stanza, he shows how hard it is to say how hard it is to say goodbye to someone close. I partially agree with most other comments, that he lost a loved one, but it also might be just in general, and not about a loved one. The title of the poem may symbolize how he thought that he wished it would only happen in a dream, but that it was more than just in a dream.
Added by: doingmyhomework
You can interpret poems in alot of ways, every person has their own interpretation. Poetry is poetry, theres a infinite ways to look at it, read it and analyze it. A dream within a dream. What is the dream within the dream? I think there are too many explanations.
Added by: Jennifer
I think that the poem means that he is saying goodbye to someone he loves. They had a special time together, but it passed so quickly it was like a dream. Then it says he can't grasp onto the grains of sand meaning things in his life are slipping away from him, but he can't help it, because he doens't have the power to.

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