Dreamland Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Dreamland

Rating: 3.5


By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule-
From a wild clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE- out of TIME.

Bottomless vales and boundless floods,
And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,
With forms that no man can discover
For the tears that drip all over;
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Lakes that endlessly outspread
Their lone waters- lone and dead,-
Their still waters- still and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily.

By the lakes that thus outspread
Their lone waters, lone and dead,-
Their sad waters, sad and chilly
With the snows of the lolling lily,-
By the mountains- near the river
Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever,-
By the grey woods,- by the swamp
Where the toad and the newt encamp-
By the dismal tarns and pools
Where dwell the Ghouls,-
By each spot the most unholy-
In each nook most melancholy-
There the traveller meets aghast
Sheeted Memories of the Past-
Shrouded forms that start and sigh
As they pass the wanderer by-
White-robed forms of friends long given,
In agony, to the Earth- and Heaven.

For the heart whose woes are legion
'Tis a peaceful, soothing region-
For the spirit that walks in shadow
'Tis- oh, 'tis an Eldorado!
But the traveller, travelling through it,
May not- dare not openly view it!
Never its mysteries are exposed
To the weak human eye unclosed;
So wills its King, who hath forbid
The uplifting of the fringed lid;
And thus the sad Soul that here passes
Beholds it but through darkened glasses.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Hans Vr 01 July 2011

Words that are written in a similar way do not necessarily rhyme Examples: Floods and woods discover and over neither swamp and camp?

15 76 Reply

To really appreciate ‘Dreamland’ by Edgar Allan Poe, it is necessary to get into Poe's mind and read the poem several times, with an imagination that has rewritten laws of nature and physics, because the landscape is a dreamscape. We must go through the looking glass and recreate images in a dreamland which like dreams must defy logic. Poe clearly states in the title that this is not a real place of this world but a dreamland. Poe declares ‘I have reached these lands but newly’, ‘By a route obscure and lonely, / Haunted by ill angels only, ’ therefore immediately Poe is building on his wandering this dreamscape, in which he has just arrived; which is emphasized to be ‘Out of SPACE- out of TIME.’ Most people would confirm in dreams there are ‘forms that no man can discover’ and in stress dreams it is possible to fall into ‘Bottomless vales and (be swallowed by) boundless floods. Even in real nature a mist can make a vale bottomless, a vast flood can seem boundless and high cliffs plunging directly into the sea do not have a shore; a shore commonly being recognized as a strip of land such as a beach, the fringe of land which exists beside lakes without cliffs. Poe may have imprinted the familiar American great lakes into this poem, ‘Lakes that endlessly outspread/ Their lone waters- lone and dead, -’ seems to indeed describe lakes like Lake Superior, in the dead of winter, ‘Their still waters- still and chilly’. In dreams time can seem suspended eternal, some earthquakes also produce a timeless fear effect; thus ‘Mountains toppling evermore’ is a realistic nightmare image. Images of a ‘sad Soul’ with dark soulless eyes like ‘darkened glasses’ is wonderfully easy to imagine, and this seems key to this poem, an imagination is necessary to perhaps understand and enjoy an imagery ‘Out of SPACE- out of TIME.’ An appreciation of nature can teach us to enjoy images we cannot always scientifically understand, imagination and responses of the heart, unlock unique such images.

48 25 Reply
Lawrence S. Pertillar 01 July 2010

Poe is a fantastic writer. He depicts exactly what his poems are about by use of the title. 'Dreamland'...By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only...and from there, we journey through Poe's world. Metered in a reminiscing of The Raven. A style that IS Poe.

41 26 Reply
Juan Olivarez 01 July 2010

You can't criticize the master without seeming petty and obnoxious. This is a great work, there are obvious flaws in the moon and stars and nobody criticizes their maker.

38 25 Reply
Alek Lenth 01 July 2010

If a white lily were to droop and lose its petals, it would both be lolling and snowing, respectively. I also think this image serves as a strong foil in juxtaposition with the erect eidolon and perhaps the falling tears and mountains. I actually find this image to be very important to the poem. Poe here makes the images flow into each other, an effect which seems deliberate since it goes along with the dual nature of dreams presented. Beyond that... you should remember the title and pay attention to the first stanza, the terrain features are the terrain of a dream. This is especially emphasized by the reference to the imaginary island/continent of Thule...Any critique of the logic of the geography found in it is an utter tautology: you might as well state dreams aren't real...something of which most -I assure you- are quite aware.

37 21 Reply
Adeeb Alfateh 08 August 2019

Seas that restlessly aspire, Surging, unto skies of fire; Lakes that endlessly outspread Their lone waters- lone and dead, - Their still waters- still and chilly With the snows of the lolling lily. great writings great 10++++++++++++

0 0 Reply
afsdf 19 May 2018

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0 1 Reply
Brett White 22 April 2018

Poe's dark prose is ETERNAL.

0 2 Reply
Subhas Chandra Chakra 25 September 2017

By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have wandered home but newly From this ultimate dim Thule. Great poem so nicely penned.

3 2 Reply
Robert M. Tuck 11 August 2017

CORRECTION: It is: From a WEIRD wild clime, that rises sublime.... BobbyMike via: [robbertmichael@icloud.com]

1 3 Reply
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