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A Dream Within A Dream Analysis

Author: Poetry of Edgar Allan Poe Type: Poetry Views: 10818

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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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| Posted on 2017-12-30 | by a guest

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I think this poem resembles how we loved to take our bras off when we don't feel realistic. When I'm dreming within my dream I never have a bra on. Oh an really btw Edgar Allen Poe knows this. I mean you could ask him you all seem to know him. Remember when we all hung out, and he let us in on all of his secrets? Well back to my point the holy spirit of edgar was summonded in my presence and told me to take my bra off. Kudos. ttyl. lol. omg. kiss me through the phone. see you when I get home. xoxoxoxoxo. gossip girl.

| Posted on 2016-05-24 | by a guest

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I think the whole "all that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream" is that reality is relative. If it is relative, reality or an external world doesn't really exist, it's an illusion. My belief is that the world only exists in our perception and without us perceiving it, it wouldn't exist. This coincides with Poe's whole, "dream within a dream". You could say that all that we see OR seem matches up with dream WITHIN a dream. Our subjective experience or perception is the SEE in the poem and people's perception who are on the outside are what we SEEM to them. So, you SEE = A DREAM, SEEM = DREAM WITHIN a DREAM. From my own stance, your dream (or, perception, how you see the world maybe?)is within my dream or perception and my dream is within your dream. If this makes sense anyway. This may be opinionated too. Just my take on it. I agree it's like The Taoist master, Zhuangzi - the dream about the butterfly.

| Posted on 2015-08-06 | by a guest

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I think that poe's trying to say that this world that we live in right now, is not really our reality. this is all just an illusion, we're not seeing things the way they are, they're not real. And he is depressed and longed for searching the real reality, escaping the illusions and delusions from this world. He wished to wake up from this life which is actually his dream or non reality. He knows that all the things that 'exist' in this world are also an illusion. He tried so hard to wake up, but he couldn't he's stuck in this virtual reality, he feels depressed about this. I don't think it has anything to do with him losing someone, it's just him telling us about the illusion that life is

| Posted on 2014-09-28 | by a guest

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The first stanza, I believe, depicts a scene where the speaker is sharing final words or even thoughts with a loved one. I myself lean more toward the thought that it's a relationship with intimacy. Not so much the relationship with a family member.
The way I read it, it's as if they are words being spoken to his lover. Saying that they are not wrong for the love fleeting. There is no controlling your hearts intentions.
The two stanzas are two different halves to one story. Each showing a different emotion toward the situation.
The first mention of the word "dream" is meant as a memory. The time they had together is commemorated through memories so the love they had is never truly dead. It lives as a dream within their own, actual, dreams.
Dreams are compilations of memories. So the first mention of "dream" would make sense to the scheme of "dream within a dream".
The second stanza shows the speaker, this time in a different mood. This mood more depressive than the previous semi-optimistic approach to the situation. The memory brings up all the lost loves. The hearts of others left behind to fend for themselves when once it fed off yours and vice-versa. The helplessness of it all. The want to save the ones you loved but can't. They are all consumed by the wave the speaker leaves. They can't be saved from the one they loved because the one they loved is the one putting them in danger.
The speaker possibly contemplating suicide at this point in the poem. I gather this idea from the speeding up of the tempo and lack of pause until the peaceful yet thought tormenting end of, "Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?"
Just my take on it. Very relevant to my current situation so I may just be imprinting it on my own situation.

| Posted on 2014-08-30 | by a guest

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I think Edgar Allen Poe is trying to convey how life is so fleeting and fragile. He's crying about how every person he loves just leaves him, either by will, or through death.

| Posted on 2014-05-28 | by a guest

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This poem is a celebration of human emotions, of art and life itself.when I read it for the first time, I cried.im a tough guy, but I cried and I cried more.

| Posted on 2013-10-21 | by a guest

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This poem is the celebration of human emotions, of art and of life.

| Posted on 2013-10-21 | by a guest

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A dream within a dream.
The last dream is his life, the first dream is the time spend with his love who is now dead.
take this kiss upon the brow, to me depicts a scene to a dead lover.
Is it there fore the less gone, to me that line tells that somehow he believes that they will always exist in that certain place & time in history.
the second verse is about the fact that his love is forever out reach. Though he counters that with the fact that live it self is nothing but a dream and that his time spend with her is the same except a portion of it.
the moops

| Posted on 2012-12-16 | by a guest

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If you want to buy a house, you will have to receive the loan. Moreover, my brother commonly takes a short term loan, which supposes to be really firm.

| Posted on 2012-12-03 | by a guest

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Whenever I read \'\'a dream within a dream\'\' I always thought he meant that everything in the here and now, in reality, is actually all an illusion. We live in the illusion of things, everything is an illusion within an illusin; a dream within a dream. And that how even though there is a reality, we always see and experience it as a dream because we do not know what is real.
Jesus crhrist I can read this poem over and over but I do not know what I just said or what I am even trying to say or how to say it at all. Guess it sounds better inside of my head... whatevver.

| Posted on 2012-10-17 | by a guest

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The best explanation I read was:
\"Life is vague, like a mist..our existence is fleeting. Whether brief or longlived, nevertheless, it remains to be just a few grains of the golden sand, everyday slipping through our grasp..before we know it..it is almost/ or is over..and all our pertinent and pressing important achivements, hopes and dreams and aspirations (whether you are a great person, politician, a movie star or a nobody) during our lifetime is now nothing more than a memory, a myth or legend, like a dream with a dream, soon it is pffft finito, gone done, forgotten.\"
-Kim Kim
To me the poem represents the transitory, ephemeral nature of time and our existence. When we meet a lover it\'s is like we pick up a handful of sand and as the years go by the sand slowly creeps through our fingers. No matter how hard or how desperately you try, you cannot stop the cascading, until you and your liver split and the last grain of sand has fallen. Then all you have left is a memory. And when you and your ex-lover pass on that memory is lost in time: like a dream within a dream. That\'s what it means to me. That is what is beautiful about poems is they mean different things to different people. But you\'ve got to be aware of that. A believe Poe was not religious, possibly an atheist, so those first two comments about this poem being about God\'s dream or original sin or whatever are just your own projections about what you want the Poem to represent. There\'s nothing wrong with that, just don\'t arrogantly state that Poe meant for this poem to have a religious message. However if it has a Christian meaning to you that is fine, just like it\'s fine if it has a deeper Islamic message to a Muslim, while to me, an atheist, it represents the transitory nature of time and comments on our own mortality and once the last grain of sand has fallen, you\'re gone forever, and your life was like a dream within a dream.

| Posted on 2012-09-19 | by a guest

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Edgar Allan Poe died in 1849, LSD was created in 1938...

| Posted on 2012-07-06 | by a guest

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I think Poe was on some SERIOUS LSD and this is what came to him him he was tripping out.

| Posted on 2012-05-30 | by a guest

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I think it goes beyond the words. Inthe first stanza he leaves someone he loves an then he questiOns wether it was all just a dream cuz something good went bad on the end. In the second stanza I think in the beach he is trying to get a grasp of reality and the dream world. He is trying to hold on to those memories that he now questions to be jut a dream that we will never wake from but hey what do I kknow. I\'m only 13

| Posted on 2012-05-22 | by a guest

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I think that poe\'s trying to say that this world that we live in right now, is not really our reality. this is all just an illusion, we\'re not seeing things the way they are, they\'re not real. And he is depressed and longed for searching the real reality, escaping the illusions and delusions from this world. He wished to wake up from this life which is actually his dream or non reality. He knows that all the things that \'exist\' in this world is also an illusion. He tried so hard to wake up, but he couldn\'t he is stuck in this virtual reality, he feels depressed about this. I DO NOT THINK THIS HAS ANY RELATION WITH LOSING A WOMAN FROM HIS PAST, I BELIEVE HE WAS TRYING TO TELL US ABOUT THIS ILLUSION WE CALL REALITY.

| Posted on 2012-05-21 | by a guest

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i think this dude is angry at the beach..talking bout sand and Sh*t.bob the builder can we fix it, bob the builder no we cant! coz we\'re F* retarded

| Posted on 2012-05-20 | by a guest

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My point of view is very different. I believe this poem admitedly begins with the loss of love, but the heartbreaking sadness that overwhelme him upon digesting and accepting this loss is what the poem is about. He lost all he loved and like with the metaphor with the sand, there is nothing he could do to stop it. He tried futily to hang onto the hanful of sand (trying to save his lover) but the grains of sand slipped from his grasp (his lover ineviitably died). This poem describes his wish FOR his life to be but a mere dream within a dream, for that would mean there would be a new life awaiting in the waking world where he could start anew. This is not describing what life is, but rather what he wishes it to be.

| Posted on 2012-05-01 | by a guest

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maybe the guy is sad bcuz his chick left him , and hes upset at the fact shes taking all his cash and the gold sand slippin is the gold that shes taking. or the gold could be the booty because gold is like booty.

| Posted on 2012-04-25 | by a guest

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Ok...really people? Kudos to the turtles guy...but really? I thought this poem was about the loss of love. The two stanzas are connected because the golden sands represent the fact that everything he has is fading into memory, like a dream within a dream. the sands are slipping away, just like his life. Everything he has left feels like a dream.

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

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i think it is saying that he needs to get laid lol

| Posted on 2012-02-15 | by a guest

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Poe is in denial of his wife\'s death (if the poem is really about that). So he immerses himself in a dream (not just one but another dream within in) subconsciously and unfortunately he cannot even have her back in his dreams. This makes him question, \"are we in a dream within a dream\" and thus questions his very existence.
This does reflect his sadness and his depression. Beautifully created words to invoke such deepness within, it feel like it isn\'t real....

| Posted on 2012-01-29 | by a guest

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I belive that Edgar is questioning if we are living in reallity or if we are not

| Posted on 2012-01-17 | by a guest

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The sole purpose of \"life\" is to see whether we pass the divine test or not--are worthy of being in the presence of the Creator for eternity or not. There is no proof whatever that anything or anyone around us actually exists. But it is all part of the test. Do we respond correctly, admirably, spiritually or do we lie, cheat, hate completely contrary to the \"better angels of our (God-given/intended) nature\" of free will. The sands indicate that our ability to respond to trials, joys, successes, failures of our daily life pass far to quickly--and permanently. No time has really passed; there is no time in eternity. So this has all been \"like a dream within a dream.\"

| Posted on 2011-12-18 | by a guest

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It is more or less like a famous philosophical story in China. The Taoist master, Zhuangzi, dreamed of a butterfly. When he was waking up, he was not sure if it was him dreaming of butterfly or he was living in the dream of a butterfly.

| Posted on 2011-12-11 | by a guest

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This poem is about loss, multiple loss, defeat, and failure. Everything loved, slips away. Reality serves no purpose, only pain. Pain so intense, he wants to escape from it, hoping it is a dream and one day will wake up from a life of turbulance.

| Posted on 2011-11-03 | by a guest

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Wow what losers...getting high and reading poetry? Totally 1960s...go listen to some Dubstep you derps

| Posted on 2011-11-01 | by a guest

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I think this poem is about the government making up dinosaours to cover up the existance of pokemon.

| Posted on 2011-10-22 | by a guest

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I believe he was tying how things in life no matter how you cherish them can and will ultimately slip through your brief moment on earth and you will never see them again no matter what you do and it is tormenting. Poe however thought on another level, and his dream within a dream reminds me of theory of parallel universes, despite his likely lack of knowledge on this topic, he might have been going down that path.

| Posted on 2011-04-18 | by a guest

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night is death and day is life the sand if loved ones and his own life slipping through his fingers and he is trying to keep it and surf tormented shore is his pain and he is questioning reality after a crisis also we think of our dreams as being real so wen wake up we dont want to face reality

| Posted on 2011-03-23 | by a guest

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to friend which is my two below. what if this world is a twisted version of another world? a Dream of our selves in that world. and it is already twisted think about this: we are the only race that kills eachother, we are the only race which destroys earth etc. etc.

| Posted on 2011-03-08 | by a guest

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This poem sort of reminds me of Romeo and Juliet and how they have so little time together and try to hold onto each other but can\'t

| Posted on 2011-03-06 | by a guest

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The one question that always burns in my mind is the simple yet profound question. Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream but i wish to know more then that I want to know if this is but a dream within a dream who is the dreamer and what happened to create such a twisted world where so many cause so much horrid things to one another? In the end one must wonder that same thing is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?

| Posted on 2011-02-11 | by a guest

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in poe\'s life he suffered a lot of deaths of women who were close to him i think this poem signifies happiness and pain to me when i\'m very happy it is dreamlike when the pain comes it feels more real the surf tormented shore i think is a metephor for his spirit a tormented spirit from pain the grains of golden sand i can see representing either loved ones or what the meaning in my life would be time minutes slipping away

| Posted on 2011-02-09 | by a guest

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I believe that poe is questioning wether his life is reality, or if he\'s experiencing a dream. I feel that when he says \"yet how they creep through my fingers to the deep...\" He\'s saying that his life is sliping away into reality when he wishes it could stay a dream.

| Posted on 2011-02-09 | by a guest

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I believe that this poem is Poe questioning reality after a crisis. The second stanza, where he\'s talking about sand slipping through his fingers is about how he\'s trying to hold on to something that\'s slipping away (possibly hope or a loved one who\'d dying).

| Posted on 2011-02-03 | by a guest

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I think this poem is about how we all think our dreams are real, but when we wake up we really dont have the sence to admit it was just a dream... And when we have something bad happen in our lives we try to see it as a dream so then it doesnt hurt as much...

| Posted on 2011-01-28 | by a guest

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I think from Poe\'s poem that he is saying that the experience of dreams only exist within the moment, they are not everlasting, just like events, matter of things and even people in our lives.
He is saying that dreams are just like life, they feel so incredibly real, yet when we wake up to the roar of life, or the dream of life we are in, we realize that it was all just a figment of imagination, or an illusion.
He is saying that although we have things in our lives, or are experiencing events in our dreams, we feel like they are within our clasp, like they will last, like we have control over things, like they are real.
But the truth to the matter is that our dreams, although we can feel them so incredibly, slip away because they are not truly within our clasp, just like life itself. Life is just an illusion of someone else\'s dream, maybe Gods, that we cannot truly control, just a part of.
It doesn\'t matter if the experience was in a dream or in real life, they feel the same. They both feel real, even though they are just illusions of a different reality.
We cannot control things that we lose, as much as we want to. We can try to, but not the extent which we want to, because they fall within our clasp if we try too hard, and just when we think we have control, and are happy, in our dreams, or the dream of life, it gets washed away by the reality within the illusion, the illusion of \"forever.\"

| Posted on 2011-01-11 | by a guest

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\"I read this after I saw Inception.
It blew my mind.
I like Turtles.\"

| Posted on 2011-01-11 | by a guest

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Or maybe,\"Yet if hope has flown away, in a night or in a day, in a vision or in one, is it therefore the less gone?\" means that just because his prvious life was pleasurable (a dream),doesn\'t change the fact that now is hope is gone.

| Posted on 2011-01-05 | by a guest

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