Text, Variations from the text: — Mysterious star! Thou wert my dream All a long summer night — Be now my theme! By this clear stream, Of thee will I write; Meantime from afar Bathe me in light! Thy world has not the dross of ours, Yet all the beauty — all the flowers That list our love, or deck our bowers In dreamy gardens, where do lie Dreamy maidens all the day, While the silver winds of Circassy On violet couches faint away.
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I send you, for your tenderest consideration, a poem Quinn p. The poem as a whole has baffled so many readers — including such sympathetic lovers of Poe as E. Stedman and Charles W.
This students of Poe have discovered — though hardly at first reading — to be not past finding out. The following scenario tells the story in plain prose. Part I. The ruling angel Nesace bathes in the light of four suns and prepares to pray Her silent, hence spiritual, prayers are borne to heaven by the odors of the many flowers catalogued by the poet His form is unknown, although man is made in His image in being intellectual Nesace awaits in silence a divine command, through the music of the spheres, to visit other stars , which she prepares to obey Part II.
A temple on a mountain is described , which Nesace enters to sing a charm that summons her subjects She invokes Ligeia, the music of Nature, to arouse the sleeping population of Al Aaraaf The spirits assemble , save for two lovers One of these, Angelo, on earth Michelangelo Buonarroti, 3 looks at his native planet and tells his beloved Ianthe that he half wishes to return there Ianthe probably from another planet says that the beauty of their present home and love should compensate him Angelo seems to think that Earth was destroyed just after he left it , but Ianthe explains that it merely trembled Nevertheless, it is not intended to be wholly without a message.
To sum up briefly: Beauty is the sole object of poetry. Nesace is Beauty, Ligeia is Harmony, and through them the Will of God, or Truth, is imaginatively communicated to us, who are lacking in the complete knowledge given only to angels. True passion is too mundane for true poetry, and the intrusion of even the noble passion of love is fatal to the human spirits of Al Aaraaf.
The poet also rejects an anthropomorphic idea of God, emphasizes His vastness and power not merely in minor things like tempests , and His omnipresence. The doctrine at least verges on pantheism; spirit fills happy flowers, and even inanimate sculptures have flown in spirit to the new star. When on May 29, , Poe wrote John Allan to ask for money to subsidize the publication of his poem, he said that he no longer was a follower of Byron.
It is plain enough that he now had two masters, an incongruous pair, John Milton and Thomas Moore. The echoes are numerous from each, and the notes below might be increased by the citation of less striking parallels.
These probably are not all unconscious; Poe was not yet so worried about such borrowings as he became later on. His own footnotes are modeled on those of Moore, and like them are sometimes more entertaining than the verses they accompany.
In that poem she says that Poe chose. And between the blessed and the damned there shall be a veil; and men shall stand on al Araf, who shall know everyone of them by their marks; and shall call unto the inhabitants of paradise, saying, Peace be upon you; yet they shall not enter therein, although they earnestly desire it.
They call it al Orf The Mahometan writers Some imagine it to be a sort of limbo , for the patriarchs and prophets, or for the martyrs, and those Others place here such whose good and evil works are so equal that they exactly counterpoise each other, and therefore deserve neither reward nor punishment and will, on the last day be admitted to paradise, after they perform an act of adoration, which will The italics are mine, and show what little Poe adopted.
Poe also seems to have read up probably in an encyclopedia on Tycho Brahe and his new star. Tycho first noticed it on November 11, , and published a book about it, De Nova Stella Copenhagen, The star appeared near a rectangle of four stars in the constellation of Cassiopeia. It was already brighter some thought than Venus, and was at first white, then yellow, then red, and lastly of a leaden hue.
It was visible for sixteen months, until in it faded away completely from human sight. The nova caused great excitement and, especially in its red phase, terror. Tycho, like almost all the old astronomers, was also an astrologer, and regarded it as of bad omen. Some of his contemporaries thought it a warning of the end of the world. All this Poe treated almost as freely as he did his sources in the Koran and Sale.
The notion that the nova was guided by a spirit is pretty surely taken from an idea entertained by Sir Isaac Newton that comets were so directed. But Tycho, who took much interest in comets, did not believe his nova was one. Poe also submitted the manuscript to William Wirt, who read it at a sitting and wrote him a polite letter on May 11, Obviously the biographer of Patrick Henry was baffled by the poem.
I have reasons for wishing not to publish the 4 th at present — for its character depends in a measure upon the success or failure of the others. The reference to a third part may be explained by the fact that, in the poem as it stands, Part II is much longer than Part I; there are breaks at II, , and II, , either one of which may have marked the beginning of a new part.
Poe made a few changes, almost all abortive, for the edition of In he sent as copy to the printers of The Raven and Other Poems a slightly revised version of the volume; a very few new changes were made in proof. The text printed in The Raven My text is based on the text in The Raven and Other Poems These show no verbal variations from our text.
That list our Love, and deck our bowers —. Near four bright suns — a temporary rest —. The soul that scarce the billows are so dense. To distant spheres, from time to time, she rode,. She throws aside the sceptre — leaves the helm,.
Now happiest, loveliest in yon lovely Earth,. Rich clouds, for canopies, about her curled —. Fit emblems of the model of her world —. A wreath that twined each starry form around,. All hurriedly she knelt upon a bed. Upon the flying footsteps of — deep pride —.
Disconsolate linger — grief that hangs her head,. Bursting its odorous heart in spirit to wing. From struggling with the waters of the Rhone:. With Indian Cupid down the holy river —. Fair flowers, and fairy! The boundary of the star. Of thy barrier and thy bar —. By the comets who were cast.
To be drudges till the last —. The red fire of their heart. And with pain that shall not part —. Who livest — that we know —. In Eternity — we feel —.
What spirit shall reveal? Thy messenger hath known. The star hath ridden high. Beneath thy burning eye;. In thought that can alone. A partner of thy throne —. My embassy is given,. In the environs of Heaven. Flap shadowy sounds from visionary wings —. But ah! The storm, the earthquake, and the ocean-wrath —. With all thy train, athwart the moony sky —. To the proud orbs that twinkle — and so be. Lest the stars totter in the guilt of man!
Up rose the maiden in the yellow night,. The single-mooned eve! Our faith to one love — and one moon adore —. The birth-place of young Beauty had no more. Up rose the maiden from her shrine of flowers,.
Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems
It tells of the afterlife in a place called Al Aaraaf, inspired by A'raf as described in the Quran. At lines, it is Poe's longest poem. The book and "Al Aaraaf" in particular received mostly negative reviews for its complexity, obscure references, and odd structure. Some, however, noted the potential in the young poet, including John C.
Al Aaraaf by Edgar Allan Poe: Summary & Analysis
I send you, for your tenderest consideration, a poem Quinn p. The poem as a whole has baffled so many readers — including such sympathetic lovers of Poe as E. Stedman and Charles W. This students of Poe have discovered — though hardly at first reading — to be not past finding out.
And the Nelumbo bud that floats for ever With Indian Cupid down the holy river— Fair flowers, and fairy! Up rose the maiden in the yellow night, The single-mooned eve! Oh, the wave Is now upon thee—but too late to save! But what is this? Could angels be blest? My beautiful one! What guilty spirit, in what shrubbery dim Heard not the stirring summons of that hymn?