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Edgar Allan Poe - Quotes

A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Poetic Principle. 1850.

There neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified — more supremely noble than this very poem — this poem per se — this poem which is a poem and nothing more — this poem written solely for the poem's sake.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Poetic Principle. 1850.

I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as the Rhythmical Creation of Beauty. Its sole arbiter is taste. With the intellect or with the conscience, it has only collateral relations. Unless incidentally, it has no concern whatever either with duty or with truth.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Poetic Principle. 1850.

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee; —
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Annabel Lee. 1849.

I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love —
I and my Annabel Lee —
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Annabel Lee. 1849.

Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Letter to Frederick W. Thomas. 1849.

The skies they were ashen and sober;
The leaves they were crisped and sere —
The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
Of my most immemorial year.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Ulalume. 1847.

Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Philosophy of Composition. 1846.

The death then of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Philosophy of Composition. 1846.

The object, Truth, or the satisfaction of the intellect, and the object, Passion, or the excitement of the heart, are, although attainable, to a certain extent, in poetry, far more readily attainable in prose.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Philosophy of Composition. 1846.

By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule —
From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
Out of SPACE — out of TIME.

Poe, Edgar Allan. Dreamland. 1845.

With me poetry has been not a purpose, but a passion; and the passions should be held in reverence: they must not — they cannot at will be excited, with an eye to the paltry compensations, or the more paltry commendations, of mankind.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Raven and Other Poems. 1845.

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Raven. 1844.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Raven. 1844.

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted — nevermore!

Poe, Edgar Allan. The Raven. 1844.

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Premature Burial. 1844.

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that can be thought on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most superficial sentiment.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this — that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made, not to understand, but to feel, as crime.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize at one effort the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own — the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple — a few plain words — "My Heart Laid Bare." But — this little book must be true to its title.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

How many good books suffer neglect through the inefficiency of their beginnings!
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

In reading some books we occupy ourselves chiefly with the thoughts of the author; in perusing others, exclusively with our own.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term "Art," I should call it "the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul." The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of "Artist."
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

I have great faith in fools — self-confidence my friends will call it.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Marginalia. 1844.

For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not — and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat. 1843.

There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat. 1843.

I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat. 1843.

It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night — and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul!
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Black Cat. 1843.

TRUE! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad?
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Tell-Tale Heart. 1843.

Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture — a pale blue eye, with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me, my blood ran cold; and so by degrees — very gradually — I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Tell-Tale Heart. 1843.

If you still think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs.
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Tell-Tale Heart. 1843.

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! — tear up the planks! — here, here! — it is the beating of his hideous heart!"
Poe, Edgar Allan. The Tell-Tale Heart. 1843.

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Eleonora. 1841.

Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Berenice. 1835.

But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.
Poe, Edgar Allan. Berenice. 1835.

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The City in the Sea. 1831.

So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The City in the Sea. 1831.

And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

Poe, Edgar Allan. The City in the Sea. 1831.