Notable Quotes
Browse quotes by subject | Browse quotes by author


American author (1809-1849)

Edgar Allan Poe quote

All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, A Dream Within a Dream

The most natural, and, consequently, the truest and most intense of the human affections are those which arise in the heart as if by electric sympathy.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Spectacles"

Decorum -- that bug-bear which deters so many from bliss until the opportunity for bliss has forever gone by.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Spectacles"

The customs of the world are so many conventional follies.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Spectacles"

Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.


The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn,—not the material of my every-day existence--but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself.


Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence— whether much that is glorious— whether all that is profound— does not spring from disease of thought— from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.


They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.


And all my days are trances,
And all my nightly dreams
Are where thy grey eye glances,
And where thy footstep gleams--
In what ethereal dances,
By what eternal streams.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, To One in Paradise

Edgar Allan Poe quote

Melancholy is ... the most legitimate of all the poetical tones.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Philosophy of Composition"

Love like mine can never be gotten over.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, letter to Maria Clemm, Aug. 29, 1835

I have great faith in fools — self-confidence my friends will call it.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "Marginalia"

It is with literature as with law or empire — an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "Letter to Mr. B—"

It is clear that a poem may be improperly brief. Undue brevity degenerates into mere epigrammatism. A very short poem, while now and then producing a brilliant or vivid, never produces a profound or enduring, effect. There must be the steady pressing down of the stamp upon the wax.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Poetic Principle"

Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before any thing be attempted with the pen. It is only with the dénouement constantly in view that we can give a plot its indispensable air of consequence, or causation, by making the incidents, and especially the tone at all points, tend to the development of the intention.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Philosophy of Composition"

I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have perilled life and reputation and reason. It has been in the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories — memories of wrong and injustice and imputed dishonor — from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, attributed, Edgar Poe and His Critics (Sarah Whitman)

I must not dwell upon the fearful repast which immediately ensued. Such things may be imagined, but words have no power to impress the mind with the exquisite horror of their reality.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym"

Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, attributed, Survival, issue 1

Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, letter to Frederick W. Thomas, Feb. 14, 1849

Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "Raising the Wind," Saturday Courier, Oct. 14, 1843

O, human love! thou spirit given,
On Earth, of all we hope in Heaven!

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "Tamerlane"

I am actuated by an ambition which I believe to be an honourable one — the ambition of serving the great cause of truth, while endeavouring to forward the literature of the country.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, letter to Washington Poe, Aug. 15, 1840

I was never really insane except upon occasions where my heart was touched.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, letter to Maria Clemm, Jul. 7, 1849

I attacked with great resolution the editorial matter, and, reading it from beginning to end without understanding a syllable, conceived the possibility of its being Chinese, and so re-read it from the end to the beginning, but with no more satisfactory result.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Angel of the Odd"

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely—flowers.


Most writers — poets in especial — prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy — an ecstatic intuition — and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes, at the elaborate and vacillating crudities of thought — at the true purposes seized only at the last moment — at the innumerable glimpses of idea that arrived not at the maturity of full view — at the fully matured fancies discarded in despair as unmanageable — at the cautious selections and rejections — at the painful erasures and interpolations — in a word, at the wheels and pinions — the tackle for scene-shifting — the step-ladders and demon-traps — the cock’s feathers, the red paint and the black patches, which, in ninety-nine cases out of the hundred, constitute the properties of the literary histrio.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Philosophy of Composition"

Edgar Allan Poe quote

Every poem, it is said, should inculcate a moral; and by this moral is the poetical merit of the work to be adjudged. We Americans, especially, have patronized this happy idea; and we Bostonians, very especially have developed it in full. We have taken it into our heads that to write a poem simply for the poem’s sake, and to acknowledge such to have been our design, would be to confess ourselves radically wanting in the true Poetic dignity and force; but the simple fact is, that, would we but permit ourselves to look into our own souls, we should immediately there discover that under the sun there neither exists nor can exist any work more thoroughly dignified, more supremely noble, than this very poem—this poem per se—this poem which is a poem and nothing more—this poem written solely for the poem’s sake.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "The Poetic Principle"

I have sometimes amused myself by endeavouring to fancy what would be the fate of an individual gifted, or rather accursed, with an intellect very far superior to that of his race. Of course he would be conscious of his superiority; nor could he (if otherwise constituted as man is) help manifesting his consciousness. Thus he would make himself enemies at all points. And since his opinions and speculations would widely differ from those of all mankind — that he would be considered a madman is evident. How horribly painful such a condition! Hell could invent no greater torture than that of being charged with abnormal weakness on account of being abnormally strong.

EDGAR ALLAN POE, "Marginalia"

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.


Browse Edgar Allan Poe Quotes II

Edgar Allan Poe Poems - a collection of his poetry.


Life Quotes

Love Quotes

Death Quotes

God Quotes

Wisdom Quotes

Hope Quotes

Success Quotes

Women Quotes

Happiness Quotes

Shakespeare Quotes