Friday, May 29, 2009

Poe Fridays: The Forest Reverie

This week's Poe Fridays poem is The Forest Reverie which you can read here but I've also copied it here:

'Tis said that when
The hands of men
Tamed this primeval wood,
And hoary trees with groans of wo,
Like warriors by an unknown foe,
Were in their strength subdued,
The virgin Earth
Gave instant birth
To springs that ne'er did flow--
That in the sun
Did rivulets run,
And all around rare flowers did blow--
The wild rose pale
Perfumed the gale,
And the queenly lily adown the dale
(Whom the sun and the dew
And the winds did woo),
With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.
So when in tears
The love of years
Is wasted like the snow,
And the fine fibrils of its life
By the rude wrong of instant strife
Are broken at a blow--
Within the heart
Do springs upstart
Of which it doth now know,
And strange, sweet dreams,
Like silent streams
That from new fountains overflow,
With the earlier tide
Of rivers glide
Deep in the heart whose hope has died--
Quenching the fires its ashes hide,--
Its ashes, whence will spring and grow
Sweet flowers, ere long,--
The rare and radiant flowers of song!

This poem strangely is not in my "Complete" Tales & Poems book. Perhaps it is because it is so odd for Poe to have written a nature poem. This one must have been written in a hopeful time for Poe. He describes the ebb and flow of nature, the tearing down and building up that happen cyclically. I suppose he had some reason at this point to think that things were looking up. Ironically, this poem makes me feel sad for Poe because his life eventually ends on a low note.

For next week's Poe Fridays, I'm choosing the short story The Assignation.

Enjoying the "strange, sweet dreams" of Poe,


  1. I feel the same way. I want to say the poem is too beautiful for Poe to have written it. Maybe he was in love when he wrote it. I've never read The Forest. Thanks for putting it on your blog.

  2. It's interesting to read the poems that just don't really feel like Poe. My post is up here.

  3. I think we may have to rethink our limited view of Poe as we read more and more stories and poems that have such a variety of themes and settings. Yes, there are his main subjects that he is obsessed with but he also had a broad and vivid imagination!