• pauljenkinspoet

Poem of the week - Edgar Allen Poe

Today’s blog will be a short, sharp affair as today is a Waffle night where I’ll be hosting various open micers and the awesome Christopher Moriarty who is headlining the gig for us tonight. (His Dr Seuss parodies will make their way to these pages soon enough - that’s for sure!)

The night coincides with Mental Health Awareness Day and of course, for poets, this is a big one. Poets are statistically one of the professions most widely affected by mental health issues (myself included) and it should come as no surprise today we look at a poem which focus on that ongoing battle with the brain.

Edgar Allen Poe wrote today’s piece ‘A dream within a dream’ and it’s fitting for the occasion. It covers those immense and overwhelming feelings of loss and internal anxiety, while also making some brilliant connections with nature. I love the way he stand upon the shore, trying desperately to grasp the sand within his clutches, only to find that he can grasp on to nothing. It’s such a powerful metaphor and one which reminds us that ‘clinging on’ doesn’t always help.

Perhaps we need to fall into those dreams he speaks of a little more.

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?

Edgar Allen Poe

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