illustrated portrait of American author of gothic fiction Edgar Allan Poe

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What poetic devices are used in Edgar Allan Poe's "Dreamland"?

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The poetic devices used in Edgar Allan Poe's poem "Dreamland" include the following:

Stanzas
 
This poem is divided into five stanzas of varying lengths. Stanza number 1 is eight lines. Stanza number 2 is twelve lines. Stanza number 3 is eighteen lines. Stanza number 4 is twelve lines. Stanza number 5 is six lines.
 
Repetition
 
Edgar Allan Poe employs repetition to give the poem some foundational structure. Repetition causes a reader to reconsider a previous thought. Repetition can add musicality to a poem, just as a repeated riff, line, or chorus in music does.
 
Anexample of repetition in the poem Dreamland is the line:
 
“Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,”
 
This line is first stated in stanza number 1 – line 3.  It is repeated in stanza number 5 in line 3.
 
Another example of repetition in the poem Dreamland is the line:
 
“With the snows of the lolling lily”
 
This line is first stated in stanza number 2 – line 12.  It is repeated in stanza number 3 in line 4.
 
End Rhyme
 
Rhyme is employed extensively in Dreamland. Poe utilizes rhyming couplets. The last word of one line rhymes with the last word of the next line. For example, in stanza number 1, line 1 rhymes with line 2; line 3 rhymes with line 4; line 5 rhymes with line 6, and line 7 rhymes with line 8. This progression of rhyming couplets continues downward in the poem until the very end.
 
Internal Rhyme
 
This occurs when words rhyme within the same line. In Dreamland, an example is in stanza 1, line number 7:
 
“From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,”
 
Alliteration
 
The repeating of initial consonant sounds signifies the poetic element of alliteration. Examples in Poe’s Dreamland include:
 
a) “From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
 
b) “And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods,”
 
c) “But the traveller, travelling through it,”
 
Hyperbole
 
Hyperbole is employed to make a point - to convey by way of exaggeration a truth the poet wants to get across. In Dreamland, Poe use hyperbole in stanza 1, line 7 and 8:
 
“From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime,
       Out of SPACE—Out of TIME.”
 
He’s exaggerating here with words to indicate that he’s reached his destination (these lands) from a strange atmosphere and “Out of SPACE—Out of TIME.” This is meant to show his odd journey and is not meant to be taken literally because no one can come from a place that’s out of space or out of time.

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Edgar Allan Poe uses a variety of poetic devices in his dark, haunting poem, "Dreamland."  Here are some of them. 

1) Rhyme: The poem consists of rhyming couplets, meaning that line a and b rhyme, lines c and d rhyme, and so on.

2) Rhythm: Most of the poem's line contain 8 syllables.

3) Alliteration: Poe often packs a line with words that begin with the same consonant sound.  For example:

wild wierd

Bottomless vales and boundless floods

dews that drip all over

4) Assonance: Poe sometimes packs a line with words that have the same vowel sound in the middle position.  For example:

wild weird clime that lieth sublime

Their still waters--still and chilly

5) Personification: Poe describes non-human entities as if they were human.  For example, he writes that "NIGHT,/ on a black throne reigns upright."

6) Allusion: Poe uses references to literature and mythology.  Look up the origin of Titan and Eldorado

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What are the poetic devices used in "A Dream within a Dream" and "A Paean" by Edgar Allan Poe?

Both poems use end rhymes to develop a sense of rhythm or cadence. In "A Dream Within A Dream," Poe uses such rhyming words at the end of lines as "brow" and "now," "deem" and "dream." In "A Paean," he uses an A-B-A-B rhyme scheme. Here, the end word of every other line rhymes, as we see in the first stanza with "read" and "dead," and "sung" and "young:" 

How shall the burial rite be read?
The solemn song be sung?
The requiem for the loveliest dead,
That ever died so young?

The poems both also use imagery. Imagery means communicating using any of the five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. In "A Dream Within A Dream," Poe begins with the image of kissing a brow, which is a person's forehead. In this instance, it is the forehead of a dead person. The narrator also envisions himself by the seashore, holding golden sand in his hands. We can envision the seashore and the golden sand.  In "A Paean," we have the image of a dead woman's friends gazing at her on her "gaudy" bier. A bier is a stand on which a coffin or a dead body lies. 

Both poems also use metaphor. A metaphor is a comparison that does not use the words like or as. In "A Dream Within A Dream," the afore-mentioned golden sand that runs through narrator's fingers is like the lives he can't hold onto because people die. In "A Paean," the narrator likens the dead woman's youth to "life's June." June is the month when flowers and plants are in full blossom. Likewise, the dead woman died in the full blossom of her life.  

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What are the poetic devices used in "A Dream within a Dream" and "A Paean" by Edgar Allan Poe?

A poetic device used in each poem is personification.

Personification is one of the poetic devices used in “A Dream within a Dream” by Edgar Allen Poe. Personification is a description of something nonhuman that gives it humanlike qualities. For example, “hope has flown away” in the first stanza and “pitiless wave” in the second stanza are two different examples of personification. In the first example, we have hope being described as flying away, as if hope had a choice and could leave. In the second example, waves are described as having no pity, as if they have feelings like a human and can care or not care how we feel. There is another example of personification in the first stanza of the poem.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore

In this case, the shore is described as being “tormented” by the waves, the way a person would be tormented by feelings. Torment is something you feel. It is a description of how a person feels when someone’s emotions wrack them, not when waves wrack a shore.

In “A Paean” there is a description of a funeral. A paean is a hymn of praise. Here we also have personification.

From more than friends on earth,
Thy life and love are riven,
To join the untainted mirth
Of more than thrones in heaven.--

Here live and love are “riven” (divided) and personified as if they were physically going to Heaven to the mythical mirth (joy) in Heaven. The young girl will be happy once she is in Heaven, even though she died young.

Both poems talk about love and loss, familiar territory for Poe. In each case, there is a young girl who died too young. In “A Dream within a Dream” the speaker is desperate for his lost love: “Through my fingers to the deep/ While I weep--while I weep!/ O God! can I not grasp/ Them with a tighter clasp?” and in “A Paen” we get the sense that other than her lover, most of the people at the funeral are jealous of the girl and happy to see her go. The desperation of “A Dream within a Dream” is not felt, and the poem is not as private or as personal. It is more distant, and even humorous or farcical. The tone of each poem therefore varies, despite the familiar subject matter.

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