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by Edgar Allan Poe

Analysis: Calling Card

Dead Girls, Depressed Guys, Spooky Images, Big Words

As far as recognizable voices in American literature go, it's pretty tough to do much better than Edgar Allan Poe. He uses a core set of themes and techniques again and again. Now, not all of his work is like this, but "Ulalume" makes for a pretty good example. Let's go down the list:

  • Is there a dead girl with a strange name? Check.
  • Is there a depressed/mentally imbalanced boyfriend who misses her so much he wants to die? Check.
  • Is everything super-spooky and ominous? Check.
  • Is the poem full of long, strange, beautiful words with amazing sounds? Check.

If you're reading a poem or a story with all of these things in it, chances are pretty good that you're dealing with Poe.

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