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The Turtle-Dove

Symbol Analysis

The Turtle-Dove is an old symbol of love and faithfulness. (Apparently these doves form really strong bonds with their mates.) That's why the turtle-doves makes a perfect match for the golden bells and the wedding and all the other happy, stable images found in the second section of the poem.

  • Line 23: This line just seems like a really happy little scene to us: a bird, looking at the moon and listening to the joyful sound of bells. We're tempted to dig into it to look for the hidden, twisted Poe weirdness deep inside, but maybe we'll just let things be normal and happy for once.

The Moon

The moon shows up twice in this poem, in really different circumstances. It's a good example of how the things in the natural world can stay the same from one point to the next, but their meaning can change drastically based on the mood of the surrounding lines.

  • Line 24: In this case, the moon is almost like a partner to the turtle-dove. We can imagine it smiling down on her as she looks up into the sky. It's all part of the happiness and satisfaction that fills the second part of the poem
  • Line 50: Now everything has flipped. The mellow, happy moon we saw before is now "pale-faced." That description feels so cold and bloodless. In this moment the fire is trying to leap up to the moon, but the moon is too far away, completely separated from human beings and their problems and fears.

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