Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Dream Within a Dream

The American Edgar Allan Poe composed A Dream Within a Dream. The poem questions the difference between fantasy and reality. Here is the poem:

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And in parting from you now,
This 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?

The poem has two stanzas. The first has 11 verses and the second has 13. The narrator explains that nothing lasts forever, and that just like we can't control our dreams, we can't control our lives.

The sea is the setting of the poem. It roars on the shore and the grains of sand slipping through the narrator's fingers represent the passage of time. The poem ends with a question that asks if all we see or appear to see is just a dream inside a dream. In other words, the narrator wonders if our minds shape reality and if life is as difficult to comprehend as a dream.

A Dream Within a Dream is a fascinating poem. It reflects on the passage of time, our immortality, and the distinction between dreams and reality. The poem asks the reader a series of questions to consider on the journey of life.

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