by Edgar Allan Poe
We imagine our speaker being the kind of guy you'd meet at a party and be interested in right away. He'd be charming, engaging, and maybe he'd tell some good stories. Then, as you went on, you'd start to realize that something wasn't quite right. Maybe he'd keep coming back to one particular subject. Maybe he'd rant about something bad that happened to him. Maybe there would just be a little gleam in his eye that made you a bit uncomfortable. You'd try to slip away, but you'd find yourself fascinated by him, and unable to leave. He would draw you in until you felt sorry for him, until you almost felt like you had lived his sad life. The speaker of this poem, if he was talking to you, would have an edge in his voice that would make him impossible to ignore.