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A Dream Within A Dream Analysis



Author: poem of Edgar Allan Poe Type: poem Views: 578

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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?





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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simply means that this life could be a dream and when we dream in this life it becomes a dream within a dream.

| Posted on 2012-04-20 | by a guest


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“A Dream Within a Dream” is one of Poe’s many poems about death and memories. The first stanza is all about trying to lead a normal life without being distracted by death. My translation of stanza one says this “Let me offer a kiss upon my leaving, let me declare you aren’t wrong, who believes that this seems unreal. If there is no hope left in a night, day, vision, or none, does that mean I can lead a normal life? Everything is quick and fleeting, like a dream within a dream.” The second stanza takes a shift and begins to talk about memories and how they slip away and there’s nothing we can do about it. “I stand amid the craze of my tormented memory and I hold in my hand memories of my past. How few, yet still they slip away to the back of my mind while I cry. O god can I not hold my memories with a tight grip, can’t I save them from being gone forever? Are we all pointless? Is nothing remembered but only a dream within a dream? This poem shows the deep torment that Poe feels because of death. Pretty much everyone in his life who he loved had passed, so he was wondering if all of it was really just a dream and none of it was real, since he couldn’t remember most anything.

| Posted on 2010-11-29 | by a guest


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I think that Poe was writing this, because he just realized that \"his life had no meaning\" but, this may be wrong too, if this is true then why in stanza 2 does he say \"O God can i not grasp, them with a tighter clasp, O God can I not save one from the pitless wave? Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?\" He\'s not telling us, that everything is a dream, he\'s asking, he\'s crying out for an answer, maybe he thought his life was worth something and like a metaphor, was stating that his life was like the golden grains of sand, and he could grasp them no longer, but he wants to save one, one peice of his life, one grain of sand, that meant something to him, and he doesn\'t want to lose it, because, he doesn\'t want to die, or because he wants to live one more day, there\'s a million diffrent ways to put it, he wrote this poem the year of his death, maybe he sensed his time was coming and worte this as a final plee to God to let him live one more day, think about it.

| Posted on 2010-09-30 | by a guest


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this poem is actually about how we live in reality and fantasy, that's why is called a dream within a dream.

| Posted on 2009-12-08 | by a guest


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I think he's actually saying goodbye to his life, since this was written in the last year of his life. And the grains of golden sand represent his life, and he can't save any from the hands of time.

| Posted on 2009-10-28 | by a guest


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i think poe is referring to his affair with a russian hooker he had previous to his writing days where she sat in a chair with the bottom cut out and pood on his hair chest. x sublime!

| Posted on 2009-10-26 | by a guest


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Poe is talking about someone who has left him. He is saying, "if i have taught you nothing more, let me say this... you're not crazy for thinking that my life is pointless because i live it in illusion, but if hope is gone, am i to blame?? because nothing is real, and you need to see that. I am in a place that is hectic, and i hold dreams in my hand that are so small they might slip through my fingers.. (and i can't help but be sad about this) is there anyway i can hold on to them?? there's no more reality, because even this is a dream within a dream." feedback anyone?

| Posted on 2009-09-29 | by Amberjparker


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In this world,when we wake up from our dreamy sleep,we hope that someday our dreams will become reality.But what if the world itself is a dream?Will everything Ive gathered in my hand will blow away in the wind of time leaving me weeping in theemptiness of a dream within a dream?

| Posted on 2009-06-25 | by a guest


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i think it means that we distinguish against reality and fantasy hint " is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream"

| Posted on 2009-01-11 | by a guest


.: think about it.... :.

i think that he is putting the idea out that maybe we are all really just children dreaming. when we die in this "life" we will wake up, live for a day, go back to sleep and dream another lifetime. who knows. dont criticize me... think about it... you cant prove me wrong and i cant prove me right.

| Posted on 2008-04-15 | by a guest


.: a dream within a dream :.

When one wakes up from a dream one realise that everything that they have seen and experienced was merely a dream, not reality and none of it had any meaning in their life.
I think that Poe wants us to understand that life is like a dream in the way that waking up from a dream is like when we die and go to the afterlife; we realise that everything we had experienced in our lives was not a reality therefore was pointless.
The poem its self is about Poe realising that the life he is living means nothing in the long run because everyone will at one stage wake up from this dream called life and realise it has no meaning.
I also think that the second stanza is like a metaphor in that the grains of golden sand is like the meaningful things in his life, and he is letting go of them because he knows that he cannot hold onto them forever because he realises that one day they will be gone and no longer have meaning.

| Posted on 2007-10-12 | by a guest




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