Musical Sadness, Beautiful Loss
In their heart of hearts, all of Poe's great poems are about the pain of losing someone. In a way, though, they are also about the intensity of grief, and how that feeling can almost become beautiful. We know it's weird, but bear with us a little. In this poem, and in others by Poe (think the "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," and "Ulalume"), the pain of losing loved ones is mixed with a beautiful, musical style. Poe picks rich words and exciting images, and mixes them together with his sense of sadness. It bums you out a little, but it can also fill you with a soaring, weirdly joyous feeling. You feel how upset the speaker is, but you also can't help but get caught up in the beauty of what he's describing. We think this mix of beauty and sadness is definitely Edgar Allan Poe's calling card.