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Ulalume

Ulalume

by Edgar Allan Poe

Stanza 6 Summary

Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.

Line 51-53

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
Said—"Sadly this star I mistrust—
Her pallor I strangely mistrust:—

  • Unfortunately for our speaker, Psyche (his soul) doesn't share his optimism. She raises her finger to slow him down, and says she doesn't trust the light they are seeing. She's worried about the pallor (paleness) of the star, and has some kind of weird feeling that things are going to go wrong.

Lines 54-55

Oh, hasten! oh, let us not linger!
Oh, fly!—let us fly!—for we must."

  • Now, all of a sudden, Psyche starts to freak out. She tells our speaker that they have to hurry up and get out of there. She wants to run away ("fly") immediately.
  • Psyche's a little like Jiminy Cricket, acting as the conscience of our speaker. Unfortunately, just like Pinocchio, we're not sure he's going to listen.

Lines 56-57

In terror she spoke, letting sink her
Wings till they trailed in the dust—

  • This is a sort of sweet and sad image. Apparently Psyche has wings like an angel, and she's so scared right now that she lets her wings fall down and drag in the dust.

Lines 58-60

In agony sobbed, letting sink her
Plumes till they trailed in the dust—
Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

  • Just in case we didn't get it the first time, Poe hammers on this image, really making us feel Psyche's fear. By now she is crying, sobbing in "agony." Her "plumes" (feathery wings) are dragging in the dust.
  • Poe really knows how to work a mood, and this imagery is just his style. His poems are full of beautiful pure and holy things like angels wings. In the end, though, they always wind up getting dirty and dusty, brought down by the sadness of the world.

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