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The City In The Sea - Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers that tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters he.

No rays from the holy heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently-
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free-
Up domes- up spires- up kingly halls-
Up fanes- up Babylon-like walls-
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers-
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye-
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass-
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea-
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
The hours are breathing faint and low-
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

Comments about The City In The Sea by Edgar Allan Poe

  • Gold Star - 87,299 Points Savita Tyagi (4/15/2020 11:35:00 AM)

    Reminds me of the sunken city of Dwarka. What Edgar Allen Poe imagined in this mystical and marvelous poem have happened thousands of years before. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 181,410 Points Mahtab Bangalee (4/15/2020 10:11:00 AM)

    There open fanes and gaping graves
    Yawn level with the luminous waves;
    But not the riches there that lie.....great poem; philosophically do deep
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 9,387 Points Harindhar Reddy (4/15/2020 3:04:00 AM)

    To touch the topic deadly death is dreadful but Edgar Allan Poe not only touched it but produced this miraculous poem. That's why he is considered as one of the all time best poet. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 53,902 Points Dominic Windram (4/15/2020 1:22:00 AM)

    Epic Gothic poem.. born from the dark imagination of Edgar Allan Poe. I particularly like the personification of Death looking, ' gigantically down' from, ' a proud tower in the town'..terrifying! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 8,695 Points Bernard Snyder (11/5/2019 7:24:00 PM)

    My favorite poet of all times. Wonderfully written! (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 6,796 Points Tamara Beryl Latham (11/5/2019 10:11:00 AM)

    What an amazingly brilliant poet, especially of dark poetry. Great read and thanks for posting. : -) (Report) Reply

    4 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 53,902 Points Dominic Windram (11/5/2019 2:17:00 AM)

    I love the personification of Death in this poem! It is brilliantly realised by the master of Gothic horror: Edgar Allan Poe. (Report) Reply

    5 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 437,225 Points Kumarmani Mahakul (11/5/2019 1:32:00 AM)

    A well inscription has been made on " The City in the sea" . It is a brilliant poem by Edgar Allan Poe. (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Rookie Kymarie (4/15/2019 5:21:00 PM)

    Like, your, story..
    Love you! ! ¡! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
    (Report) Reply

    7 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 0 Points Mmidi Moraba Phillip (4/15/2019 11:58:00 AM)

    I really enjoyed the poem (Report) Reply

    6 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Read all 45 comments »
City Poems
  1. 1. The City In The Sea
    Edgar Allan Poe
  2. 2. A Brook In The City
    Robert Frost
  3. 3. A Sunset Of The City
    Gwendolyn Brooks
  4. 4. City That Does Not Sleep
    Federico García Lorca
  5. 5. The City Planners
    Margaret Atwood
  6. 6. The Alchemist In The City
    Gerard Manley Hopkins
  7. 7. City Trees
    Edna St. Vincent Millay
  8. 8. The City In Which I Loved You
    Li-Young Lee
  9. 9. Beleaguered City, The
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  10. 10. Beautiful City
    Alfred Lord Tennyson
  11. 11. Block City
    Robert Louis Stevenson
  12. 12. City Of Ships
    Walt Whitman
  13. 13. A City Winter
    Frank O'Hara
  14. 14. A Description Of A City Shower
    Jonathan Swift
  15. 15. The White City
    Claude McKay
  16. 16. On The Amtrak From Boston To New York City
    Sherman Alexie.
  17. 17. City Visions
    Emma Lazarus
  18. 18. The City Of The Dead Xx
    Khalil Gibran
  19. 19. When Dawn Comes To The City
    Claude McKay
  20. 20. The City
    Constantine P. Cavafy
  21. 21. ***barbarism In Pink City Again! ! !
    Dr subhendu kar
  22. 22. To One Who Has Been Long In City Pent
    John Keats
  23. 23. Report From The Besieged City
    Zbigniew Herbert
  24. 24. The City Limits
    Archie Randolph Ammons
  25. 25. City Of Orgies
    Walt Whitman
  26. 26. Leaving White King City
    Li Po
  27. 27. Nightfall In The City Of Hyderabad
    Sarojini Naidu
  28. 28. Up At A Villa--Down In The City
    Robert Browning
  29. 29. Once I Pass'D Through A Populous City
    Walt Whitman
  30. 30. The City Dead-House
    Walt Whitman
  31. 31. Hymn Of The City
    William Cullen Bryant
  32. 32. Sonnet: O City, City
    Delmore Schwartz
  33. 33. The City Of Dreadful Thirst
    Banjo Paterson
  34. 34. Henry James In The Heart Of The City
    Erica Jong
  35. 35. The City At The End Of Things
    Archibald Lampman
  36. 36. Fire-Fly City
    Henry Van Dyke
  37. 37. When The Assault Was Intended To The City
    John Milton
  38. 38. The City Bushman
    Henry Lawson
  39. 39. The City And The Sea
    Emily Pauline Johnson
  40. 40. The City That Will Not Repent
    Vachel Lindsay
  41. 41. A City Remembered
    Vernon Scannell
  42. 42. City Of Doom
    Doom and Gloom
  43. 43. In Honour Of The City Of London
    William Dunbar
  44. 44. The Soul Of The City Receives The Gift O..
    Vachel Lindsay
  45. 45. Come, Here Is Adieu To The City
    Robert Louis Stevenson
  46. 46. The City Of The Soul: Ii
    Lord Alfred Douglas
  47. 47. City On The Sea? ? Wael Moreicheh
  48. 48. The Beautiful City Of Perth
    William Topaz McGonagall
  49. 49. The City Of Dreadful Night
    James Thomson
  50. 50. The House Of Dust: Part 01: 06: Over The..
    Conrad Potter Aiken

New City Poems

  1. Silent Cry, Amitava Sur
  2. Autograph Muse Acrostic Name David Dinki.., Clinton Siegle
  3. The City That Smelt Sweet At Dawn, Rhymer Rhymer
  4. Lagos: A City That Never Sleeps, Uche Nwanze
  5. City, Butch Decatoria
  6. Sodom And Gomorrah, Nero CaroZiv
  7. Limerick -City Of My Dreams, Mantrana Mahi Agarwal
  8. WHERE I LIVE, Arundhathi Subramaniam
  9. Hyderabad, That's My City, Jayant Tekumalla
  10. From the City of the Living to the City .., Martha Lavinia Hoffman

City Poems

  1. City That Does Not Sleep

    In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is asleep. The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins. The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream, and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the street corner the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the stars. Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is asleep. In a graveyard far off there is a corpse who has moaned for three years because of a dry countryside on his knee; and that boy they buried this morning cried so much it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet. Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful! We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead dahlias. But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist; flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths in a thicket of new veins, and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders. One day the horses will live in the saloons and the enraged ants will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the eyes of cows. Another day we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue. Careful! Be careful! Be careful! The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm, and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention of the bridge, or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe, we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes are waiting, where the bear's teeth are waiting, where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting, and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder. Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody. Nobody is sleeping. If someone does close his eyes, a whip, boys, a whip! Let there be a landscape of open eyes and bitter wounds on fire. No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one. I have said it before. No one is sleeping. But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the night, open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

  2. The City Planners

    Cruising these residential Sunday streets in dry August sunlight: what offends us is the sanities: the houses in pedantic rows, the planted sanitary trees, assert levelness of surface like a rebuke to the dent in our car door. No shouting here, or shatter of glass; nothing more abrupt than the rational whine of a power mower cutting a straight swath in the discouraged grass. But though the driveways neatly sidestep hysteria by being even, the roofs all display the same slant of avoidance to the hot sky, certain things: the smell of spilled oil a faint sickness lingering in the garages, a splash of paint on brick surprising as a bruise, a plastic hose poised in a vicious coil; even the too-fixed stare of the wide windows give momentary access to the landscape behind or under the future cracks in the plaster when the houses, capsized, will slide obliquely into the clay seas, gradual as glaciers that right now nobody notices. That is where the City Planners with the insane faces of political conspirators are scattered over unsurveyed territories, concealed from each other, each in his own private blizzard; guessing directions, they sketch transitory lines rigid as wooden borders on a wall in the white vanishing air tracing the panic of suburb order in a bland madness of snows

  3. A Brook In The City

    The farmhouse lingers, though averse to square With the new city street it has to wear A number in. But what about the brook That held the house as in an elbow-crook? I ask as one who knew the brook, its strength And impulse, having dipped a finger length And made it leap my knuckle, having tossed A flower to try its currents where they crossed. The meadow grass could be cemented down From growing under pavements of a town; The apple trees be sent to hearth-stone flame. Is water wood to serve a brook the same? How else dispose of an immortal force No longer needed? Staunch it at its source With cinder loads dumped down? The brook was thrown Deep in a sewer dungeon under stone In fetid darkness still to live and run -- And all for nothing it had ever done Except forget to go in fear perhaps. No one would know except for ancient maps That such a brook ran water. But I wonder If from its being kept forever under, The thoughts may not have risen that so keep This new-built city from both work and sleep.

  4. A Sunset Of The City

    Already I am no longer looked at with lechery or love. My daughters and sons have put me away with marbles and dolls, Are gone from the house. My husband and lovers are pleasant or somewhat polite And night is night. It is a real chill out, The genuine thing. I am not deceived, I do not think it is still summer Because sun stays and birds continue to sing. It is summer-gone that I see, it is summer-gone. The sweet flowers indrying and dying down, The grasses forgetting their blaze and consenting to brown. It is a real chill out. The fall crisp comes I am aware there is winter to heed. There is no warm house That is fitted with my need. I am cold in this cold house this house Whose washed echoes are tremulous down lost halls. I am a woman, and dusty, standing among new affairs. I am a woman who hurries through her prayers. Tin intimations of a quiet core to be my Desert and my dear relief Come: there shall be such islanding from grief, And small communion with the master shore. Twang they. And I incline this ear to tin, Consult a dual dilemma. Whether to dry In humming pallor or to leap and die. Somebody muffed it?? Somebody wanted to joke.

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