By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,

by Edgar Allan Poe Click to read full poem

Comments (30)

Seas that restlessly aspire, Surging, unto skies of fire; Lakes that endlessly outspread Their lone waters- lone and dead, - Their still waters- still and chilly With the snows of the lolling lily. great writings great 10++++++++++++
Poe's dark prose is ETERNAL.
By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright, I have wandered home but newly From this ultimate dim Thule. Great poem so nicely penned.
CORRECTION: It is: From a WEIRD wild clime, that rises sublime.... BobbyMike via: [robbertmichael@icloud.com]
......an incredible write...one of his best! ★
I absolutely love the phrasing in this poem! Its perfection! One of his best, in my opinion.
Superb read. Dreamland is a world where any thing is possible and poetry is of words expressing it most effectively. it's a delight to go into Poe's world with his wonderful imagination.
A very deep and haunting poem by Poe. The darknesss of night and its gloominess brings out the poetic skills of this master poet. I love the line haunted by ill Angels only. No goodness is found there. One of his greatest.
I love it.............
In the shadows of life, there are many obscurites. Perfect to see his talented skill. Really a Poet Master
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This poem seems to parallel other poems about the dark night of the soul in a unique way - either intentionally or unintentionally - esp. those poems by John of the Cross. The versus that really speak to me are as follows: May not- dare not openly view it! / Never its mysteries are exposed / To the weak human eye unclosed; / So wills its King, who hath forbid / The uplifting of the fringed lid; / And thus the sad Soul that here passes / Beholds it but through darkened glasses. It reminds me of John of the Cross' belief that the surest route to union with God comes in faith; faith beholds dimly what opened eyes cannot see. Faith attaches itself to a dream, so to speak, and moves the traveler on this pilgrimage through life, towards what is hoped for; but to view that Land is to see - and faith will disappear (hence, the poems overtones of death: once we die we will see clearly the solid gold that underlies Reality) . And, I think Poe understands the sadness of faith - which may seem an irony to some - that realizes that as long as we are aspiring for a shore and surging to fires in the sky, like the sea in this poem by Poe, we have not yet reach the End; until the End, we remain, as it were, in a valley of tears. Yet, even in the sadness there is hope, NIGHT means hope, because night means that the light is coming soon.
To really appreciate ‘Dreamland’ by Edgar Allan Poe, it is necessary to get into Poe's mind and read the poem several times, with an imagination that has rewritten laws of nature and physics, because the landscape is a dreamscape. We must go through the looking glass and recreate images in a dreamland which like dreams must defy logic. Poe clearly states in the title that this is not a real place of this world but a dreamland. Poe declares ‘I have reached these lands but newly’, ‘By a route obscure and lonely, / Haunted by ill angels only, ’ therefore immediately Poe is building on his wandering this dreamscape, in which he has just arrived; which is emphasized to be ‘Out of SPACE- out of TIME.’ Most people would confirm in dreams there are ‘forms that no man can discover’ and in stress dreams it is possible to fall into ‘Bottomless vales and (be swallowed by) boundless floods. Even in real nature a mist can make a vale bottomless, a vast flood can seem boundless and high cliffs plunging directly into the sea do not have a shore; a shore commonly being recognized as a strip of land such as a beach, the fringe of land which exists beside lakes without cliffs. Poe may have imprinted the familiar American great lakes into this poem, ‘Lakes that endlessly outspread/ Their lone waters- lone and dead, -’ seems to indeed describe lakes like Lake Superior, in the dead of winter, ‘Their still waters- still and chilly’. In dreams time can seem suspended eternal, some earthquakes also produce a timeless fear effect; thus ‘Mountains toppling evermore’ is a realistic nightmare image. Images of a ‘sad Soul’ with dark soulless eyes like ‘darkened glasses’ is wonderfully easy to imagine, and this seems key to this poem, an imagination is necessary to perhaps understand and enjoy an imagery ‘Out of SPACE- out of TIME.’ An appreciation of nature can teach us to enjoy images we cannot always scientifically understand, imagination and responses of the heart, unlock unique such images.
Words that are written in a similar way do not necessarily rhyme Examples: Floods and woods discover and over neither swamp and camp?
Poe is a fantastic writer. He depicts exactly what his poems are about by use of the title. 'Dreamland'...By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only...and from there, we journey through Poe's world. Metered in a reminiscing of The Raven. A style that IS Poe.
If a white lily were to droop and lose its petals, it would both be lolling and snowing, respectively. I also think this image serves as a strong foil in juxtaposition with the erect eidolon and perhaps the falling tears and mountains. I actually find this image to be very important to the poem. Poe here makes the images flow into each other, an effect which seems deliberate since it goes along with the dual nature of dreams presented. Beyond that... you should remember the title and pay attention to the first stanza, the terrain features are the terrain of a dream. This is especially emphasized by the reference to the imaginary island/continent of Thule...Any critique of the logic of the geography found in it is an utter tautology: you might as well state dreams aren't real...something of which most -I assure you- are quite aware.
You can't criticize the master without seeming petty and obnoxious. This is a great work, there are obvious flaws in the moon and stars and nobody criticizes their maker.
That is one real walk around the block, with Poe.
“And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods, With forms that no man can discover.” How can man know forms that he cannot discover? “Bottomless vales and boundless floods…” If a vale is a vale then it is not bottomless – ditto floods cannot be boundless. “For the tears that drip all over…” Oh dear! “Drip” is wrong; “over” is there just for the rhyme. “Mountains toppling evermore Into seas without a shore…” If there are mountains there is a shore. “With the snows of the lolling lily...” The lily is not snow nor does it “loll”. “And thus the sad Soul that here passes Beholds it but through darkened glasses.” The idea of the sad Soul with a pair of dark glasses is quite bizarre. “By the mountains- near the river Murmuring lowly, murmuring ever…” Adds nothing to the atmosphere – it’s what all rivers do. “By the grey woods, - by the swamp Where the toad and the newt encamp…” I cannot get out of my mind little toads and newts, a la Wind in the Willows, squatting in tents. “Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT, On a black throne reigns upright…” It should be uprightly, but it would spoil the rhyme. The image as it stands could be of an Eidolon sitting ramrod like on its (his?) throne.