Monsters, Beasts, and Chimeras Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] Poe’s Dream Within a Dream

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am in this week with another tribute to the Master of Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe in keeping with our bimonthly theme Monsters, Beasts, and Chimeras: Spooks and Spectres. Our lovely host this week is the beautiful Irene Latham from Live Your Poem.


While this poem is not as dark as, say, The Raven, which catapulted Poe to fame – I’ve always found this poem darkly whimsical. There is a gentle prodding, insistent wondering yet frenzied longing that seemed to require some kind of reassurance, a desperate plea for solace – yet, at the same time, it is also apart from this world, removed from reality.

I would always remember this poem as I used the last two lines from this poem during my 18th birthday celebration as I conceptualised my own doll-like debut handcrafted invitation with transparencies, handmade paper painstakingly textured with lace in a laborious manner, and “Is all that we see or seem/ But a dream within a dream?” I’ve always been Poe’s girl, seems like.

I took a photograph of the poem included in the anthology Steampunk Poe and edited it using an iPhone app. I hope you like the image, poetry-loving friends.


*** Video ads other readers may find at the bottom of this post are NOT endorsed by GatheringBooks but are randomly included by WordPress to maintain their site. ***

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

14 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Poe’s Dream Within a Dream

  1. Well, your presentation makes the poem a bit spooky, Myra, but the poem is actually sweet, a final plea for his beloved, I guess. Thank you!


  2. A Poe girl! Love it. And the poem surprised me in its wistfulness. Thank you for sharing… you make me want to write a little spooky something. 🙂


  3. Those last two lines are haunting, Myra – rather Shakespearean, really.


  4. Oh wispy and full of longing. Poe Girl! Perfect :).


  5. Can I be a Poe Girl too? You can be the club president, though. Poe rocks and you do too. 🙂


  6. Poe wrote some terrific poems that have taken a back seat to classics like The Raven and Annabel Lee…and this is one of them. He’s always been one of my favourite American writers. Thanks for sharing!


  7. What a wonderfully mysterious poem. I especially love that image of sand escaping through his hand, like life ebbing away, and then that repeated question: “Is all that we see / But a dream within a dream?” Nice pictorial version of it. You and your app did well!


  8. maryleehahn

    Inquiring minds want to know — WHAT iPhone app do you use to such great effect?!?!


  9. Steampunk Poe? How great is that?


  10. Best thing about this post: the glimpse of Myra at 18 and your fond tone as you introduce her. I loved Poe much younger, and I think I thought that POEtry was named after him, for a short while, anyway!


  11. I think you are right about the dark whimsicalness – I like it. 🙂


  12. You sound like you could become an invitation designer 🙂 Poe did suffer a lot of loss in his lifetime — no wonder he wanted to grasp with a tighter clasp.


  13. What a lament — it reminds me that we must consider each moment precious. I live near Baltimore, where Poe died. There’s a new theory that he was forcibly intoxicated in a voting scam!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: