Edgar Allan Poe Questions and Answers

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What is the meaning of the poem  "Alone" by Edgar Allan Poe and how does it relate specifically to Poe?

In "Alone," the speaker expresses his sense of loneliness in life, in his interests, and in his joy. This relates specifically to Poe in that it reflects his loneliness and brokenness in his early life and his perception of his own eccentricity.

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"Alone" was written when Poe wasn't yet the renowned author he came to be. He wrote this poem when he was only twenty, after a particularly tough year. He had faced quite a bit of literary rejection during this time, and his foster mother also died this year. He had already lost his birth mother and had no contact with his biological father, so he was feeling pretty lonely in the world.

This sense of solitude is reflected in "Alone":

I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I loved—I loved alone—

Poe's use of the em dash in these lines and throughout the poem represents a sense of brokenness pervading his early life. With little faith in or support from the adults around him, he is left constantly trying to "awaken / [His] heart to joy" and failing. He cannot do it. He loves "alone," without his biological mother or father.

In the beginning lines, the reader is also made aware of Poe's tendencies toward the eccentric (assuming the speaker is Poe representing his own...

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Although I cannot do this assignment for you, I can give you my perspective on the poem's meaning for you to consider.

In this dark poem, the narrator looks back on his depressing childhood. As a child, Edgar Allan Poe and his mother were abandoned by his father. Shortly after, his mother died. Poe was then adopted by a childless couple. The poem is about how Poe was always different as a child; as a result, he becomes isolated and secluded. Poe writes, "all I lov’d—I lov’d alone." Although he highlights his uniqueness, he says that this is what made him feel left out.