Two Adjectives to Describe Poe’s Literary Works: Dark and Haunting

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Two Adjectives to Describe Poe’s Literary Works: Dark and Haunting

This essay will explore Edgar Allan Poe’s literary works through the adjectives “dark” and “haunting”. It will analyze how Poe’s themes of death, madness, and the macabre are woven into his narratives and poetry. The essay will delve into specific works like “The Raven”, “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and “The Fall of the House of Usher”, examining how Poe’s use of language, imagery, and rhythm create a uniquely eerie and disturbing atmosphere that has cemented his place in the canon of American literature. On PapersOwl, there’s also a selection of free essay templates associated with Poetry.

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From Melancholy to Mastery: Words to Describe Edgar Allan Poe’s Emotional Landscape

Edgar Allan Poe indulged in thoughts of sadness and depression. These feelings matured, but the thoughts did not stunt his growth and creativity. Poe went on to write many poems which, include “The Raven.” His feelings created the groundwork for many successful and distinctive bodies of literature. The themes in “The Raven” include death, curiosity, and loneliness; these themes relate to this life to the death of his wife Leanor, Curiosity of where the people who die go, and the loneliness of being left behind when someone is no longer there in life.

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Death is a big concept in Poe’s poem “The Raven,” as it is clear he has just lost someone whom he cared deeply about. “Other friends have flown before- on the morrow, and he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.” When he says other friends have flown before, the assumption made is that the character in this poem has lost friends and family and has given up hope to live or love or even get to know people because they all end up dying. Poe shows his themes of depression and death through his writing about the loss of Leanor, who can be assumed to be his lover who has passed on. I believe that Poe based this on his life and experience of the death of his parents, his foster parents, and his wife. He has dealt with quite a lot, especially if the reader puts themselves in the poet’s shoes. By saying, “He will leave me, as my hopes have flown before,” the assumption made here is that he is so tired and sad that everyone he knew and loved is gone. What is the point of life after everyone who made it worth living is gone? Poe uses his sadness and depression to create a dreary mood and tone, causing the reader to question their sanity and cause themselves to feel or at least imagine what Poe or his characters must have gone through.

Probing the Abyss: Poe’s Curiosity about the Beyond in ‘The Raven’

Curiosity can be an argued theme in Poe’s “The Raven”; with death comes questions such as; Where do you go? What happens after death? How do you move on after death? Is there really a good or bad place? In “The Raven,” Poe writes, “This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp–light gloated o’er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp–light gloated o’er” I believe that Poe had questions to ask the bird who he believed was sent by death, I believe that Poe didn’t ask these questions because if the outcome of the answer turned out to be gruesome and tragic what would be the correct response? Poe seemed to embrace death and the mystery behind it, causing his readers to question what happens to death afterward. I believe that dealing with all the death in Poe’s life created the basis for these questions that he had asked himself, and he is now trying to get his readers to ask these questions and decide if they would want to know the answers for themselves or not.

Solitude’s Symphony: Poe’s Intimate Dance with Loneliness and Legacy

Loneliness is a human feeling that Poe uses in his poetry to portray feelings that he was feeling in his real life. I can only imagine the pain and loneliness that Poe felt through losing family members and people whom she trusted and loved and cared deeply about. The feeling of abandonment, emptiness, and sadness, Poe writes, “leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit thy form from off my door! Take thy beak from out of my heart and take thy form from off my door” Poe writes this with a tone of sadness and desperation. The bird seems to be a symbol of death and the mystery behind it. The loneliness created by death and loss is a major reason for sadness and depression throughout life. If someone dies, an initial reaction to that loss is sadness and sorrow. Poe shows how lonely he has become through the bird and how he wants the bird to stay, but he wants the bird to leave because it is taunting his trust, and it is soon enough going to leave and be gone forever, causing the loop of loneliness to appear again.

Poe is a great poet who knows how to show the emotion of sadness in his writing; he knows how to captivate an audience and draw readers in from the first sentence. His life was full of death and sadness, which created a way of writing that made Poe famous. A question that goes on in my head after reading his poems and about his life is, Would Poe be famous if he didn’t write melancholy themes and sad poems?


  1. Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Raven.” The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Vintage Books, 1975.
  2. Quinn, Arthur Hobson. Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
  3. Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance. Harper Perennial, 1991.
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Two Adjectives to Describe Poe's Literary Works: Dark and Haunting. (2023, Aug 15). Retrieved from