Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

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A Dream Within A Dream


Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
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?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Monday, August 18, 2014
# 10 poem on top 500 Poems

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  • Chris Howie (10/11/2014 8:56:00 PM)

    A poem about dreams, delivered in Poe's classic stylings. The tone, the voice, and the meter itself is quite easy to read, and there is a relateble sympathy in the way he, as we all try to, control and grasp each day as it passes, yet find that time marches onward. One of Poe's best, and that's saying something. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (6/3/2014 7:56:00 PM)

    ............truly this is a brilliant write....and one of my favourite poems....love reading this one... (Report) Reply

  • Eric Sawyer (5/21/2014 9:05:00 AM)

    I disagree about the golden sand. I don't believe it represents time. I feel that the golden sand is everything good and positive. Also I have thought that the golden sand could be about women (or men) too. (Report) Reply

    Wenzdae W (8/28/2014 6:46:00 AM)

    he means each grain is one day of your life

  • Angelina Holmes (5/6/2014 8:30:00 PM)

    I love the way he talks about time with the golden sand. The sand can represent time and how it slips through his fingers no matter how hard he tries to hold onto it. Very nice and rich poem. (Report) Reply

  • Michelle Claus (5/1/2014 11:14:00 AM)

    At the close of the first stanza, Poe declares that this is a dream within a dream. At the end pf the second stanza, he begs the question, Is this a dream within a dream? We each wrestle with the nature of existence, time, and how to reconcile our inevitable end. This poem has universal appeal. (Report) Reply

  • Nathan Coppedge (4/28/2014 12:09:00 PM)

    I recommend my profile for some competition to Poe. Sublime poems without the pangs of sadness, mixtures of the urban and the sublime. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (4/27/2014 12:40:00 AM)

    ......thinking of all of those yesterdays....now they only feel like a dream...life is truly a mystery...an amazing poem.. (Report) Reply

  • Valentin Savin (4/6/2014 1:03:00 AM)

    A nice, touching, sad and tragic poem.
    Our life is just a dream within a dream,
    that lasts but only a moment. (Report) Reply

Read all 193 comments »

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