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The ten famous must-read short poems of ‘Edgar Allan Poe’

Here are ten famous must-read short poems of ‘Edgar Allan Poe’.

A word about his poetry

Undeniably, Edgar Allan Poe is famous for his macabre short stories. But the majority of seasoned poets will indeed be familiar with a couple of his most well-known poems. Speaking about his poetry, it is needless to say, that many of his poems are exquisitely eerie. He wrote many popular poems from “The Raven” to “A Dream within a Dream”.

He has the desire to recurrently speak in a supernatural environment and addresses well-known subjects ranging from death to love and sorrow.

Edgar Allan Poe is widely recognized as the father of modern detective and science fiction stories which became more widely read. His own life was a reflection of the catastrophes he wrote about. Edgar Allan Poe took birth in Boston on January 19, 1809. While he was a little child, his mother passed away leaving him to be raised by a foster family. He was educated at the University of Virginia in 1826.

Read along to find ten of Poe’s famous short poems which are included below with their summaries.


From childhood’s hour, I have not been
Like others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source, I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—“

Type: Lyric
Focus: In this poem, the readers gain insight into the literary genius’s tortured psyche and are given a glimpse into his hurried and chaotic life. The piece of poetry is written as a reminiscence of Poe’s foster mother Frances’s passing away. The overpowering sense of loneliness that permeates the work was the inspiration for the title, which was decided upon when it was published.

The poem was liked because it was more relatable. When the speaker thinks back on his youth, he realizes it for what it was. The poem is written with a sombre tone thus reminding the poet of his loneliness.

A Dream within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

 Thus much let me avow —

 You are not wrong, who deem

 That my days have been a dream;

 Yet if hope has flown away

 During a night, or a day,

 In a vision, or none,

 Is it therefore the less gone? 

 All that we see or seem

 Is but a dream within a dream.”

Type: Lyric

Focus: In this poem, the speaker explores the depths of sadness and disillusionment.

The lines are enjoyable for rare poem lovers and also for seasoned poetry enthusiasts.
“Is all that we see or seem
but a dream within a dream?”

This completes the poem’s overarching themes; the speaker is considering his own existence’s justifications. He is aware that there is hardly any meaning to life and no love to give to anyone so that one lives. Everything has been changed into a state of dream and he strives to get through while floating in.

The Raven

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 someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’ Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
only this and nothing more.”

Type: Ballad

Focus: The Raven is frequently recognized as Edgar Allan Poe’s finest poetic work. It tells the story of a terrifying night in the speaker’s life that featured constant knocking and a raven that could only utter the word “Nevermore”.
The first-person perspective is used in this well-known narrative poetry.

The poem’s symbolism supported a melodramatic mood that accentuates the protagonist’s anguish and loss, and “The Raven” personifies the experience of tremendous sadness and loss. The emotional battles that people from all walks of life engage in are explored in “The Raven”.

The struggle to regulate the emotions of loss and sadness is not to be ignored. Even while these confrontations are not physical they still can cause deep damage and scar. Poe has created a fantastic piece of work that speaks to each person who encounters this poem and reverberates with their thoughts and feelings.

This is an excellent place to start if you’re seeking the ideal poetry to use as a basis for studying one of the scariest pieces of composition in English. To further illustrate the tone and strategies used in this poem, here comes one more stanza.

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy type from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

To my Mother

Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”

Type: Sonnet

Focus: In this poem, the author discusses his losses, including the passing of his foster mother and how he now values his mother. This poem is a perfect expression of affection. The poet shows his deep gratitude towards his real mother and mother-in-law. He explains the word’s general meaning and holds that the angelic realm is where it originated.

He speculates that this scorching phase may have been created by angels. To express to his mother-in-law that she holds the highest place in his mind and heart, he also offers a heartfelt homage to her.

After his mother passed away, she helped him and consented to him marrying her daughter, Virginia. Furthermore, he declares his steadfast love for Virginia, saying that it will never waver.

Poe expressed his sentiments towards his mother, his foster mother, and the mother of his wife in this devotional sonnet. It emphasizes the value of the female caregivers and the roles they play in the lives of the people they are responsible for. In parts of this essay, he discusses the significance of the word “mother” and how it originated with the angels.

His admiration for moms extends to his mother-in-law and his foster mother. She is also deserving of respect because she gave birth to his beloved Virginia.


By a route obscure and lonely,   
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have reached these lands but newly
From an ultimate dim Thule—
From a wild weird clime that lieth, 
Out of SPACE—Out of TIME.”

Type: Lyric

Focus: This piece of poetry chronicles the adventures of a traveller in an alternate reality where ghosts and other supernatural beings prowl a bleak and terrible terrain. The poem “Dream-Land” is all about a surreal and fleeting voyage. Although there is no obvious beginning, it features pictures of forests, valleys, and oceanic vistas. The poet personifies and represents the natural surroundings as blazing or leaping.


Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!

Type: Lyric

Focus: This poem explores the meaninglessness of dreams and lifelong endeavours by using the metaphor of a knight searching for the lost city.
Eldorado conjures up a variety of associations for many people. Nowadays, it frequently alludes to a lost city that is hidden deep within a forest. The area was said to be the home to unimaginable amounts of gold and wealth. The brave knight examines the legend in Poe’s poem.

Additionally, a bigger metaphor is at work here, which has contributed to the poem’s inclusion on this list and many others. Additionally, it threw light on how impossible human goals are and how futile it is to pursue them to fulfilment.

The Haunted Palace

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
(This—all this—was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
On that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A winged odor went away.”

Type: Lyric

Focus: The poem employs the image of a palace as a type of metaphor to explain how depression physically impacts the human mind. The terrible portrayal of insanity in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Haunted Palace”, was also included in “The Fall of the House of Usher”. The poem is an allegory about a king who fears terrible entities that might threaten him and his palace and he portends impending calamity “in the olden time long ago.”

Poe wrote, “I wish to convey a mind tormented by the phantoms-a disturbed brain. This line was made seemingly analogous to “The Fall of the House of Usher”

The poem’s tone dramatically alters from the end of the second to the last stanza. After talking about the King’s wit and intelligence, as well as the song and beauty of the kingdom, he says,

But evil things, in robes of sorrow,

Assailed the monarch’s high estate”

The family and home are devastated, and they appear to have vanished. The poem’s opening relates to the composition of the human head. For instance, the mouth represents the entrance, while the windows served as eyes, and the inside depicted the mind which is engaged in inventive thought, reflecting the physical aspects.


Ah broken is the golden bowl! The spirit has flown forever!
Let the bell toll!–a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy De Vere, hast thou no tear?–weep now or never more!
See! On yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read–the funeral song be sung

Type: Lyric

Focus: “Lenore” examines what real sorrow looks like. This poem’s original title was “A Paean”. But the readers now know it as “Lenore”. The name “Lenore” will be familiar to the readers of Poe’s most well-known writings, including the poem called “The Raven”. The poet has placed a great deal of importance on the death of this particular character, who has encountered several female fatalities throughout Poe’s life.

Lenore’s ex-lover is one of the two speakers that take turns speaking. They debate about how she encountered death and how the public reacted.

The City in the Sea

“No rays from the holy Heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently—
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free”

Type: Gothic Lyric

Focus: In this Gothic poem, a city of sin that will perish at the bottom of the sea has been described. One of Poe’s better poems, at least at the beginning of his career, is this one. The Doomed City, different but equally intriguing titles served as its original publication’s heading. When it was ultimately published in 1845, this change of title took place.

The poem discusses a place that the reader will undoubtedly not want to visit. Because the embodiment of death is in charge, it is destined for calamity. The vision of the city sinking into the sea haunts people and conjures up the worst ideas of damnation and hell.

Annabel Lee

“And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.”

Type: Narrative Ballad

Focus: The poem sounds and reads like a nursery rhyme, inviting the readers to relive their childhoods and empathize with the speaker. One of Poe’s most well-known poems is this one and it has been closely related to Poe’s life and deals with the death of a lovely woman, a theme that appears frequently in his works.

The speaker of this poem is plagued by life and death. Because of how intense their love was he feels some responsibility.

He soon concludes that the angels were envious and stole her from him through lovely rhyming phrases. This poem is regarded by scholars as a memorial to Poe’s young cousin and wife Virginia Clemm.

The narrator of the poem speaks about how he fell in love with Annabel Lee many years ago in “kingdom by the sea”. Even though they were young, their romance was so intense that even angels were jealous of them.

The narrator thinks that the seraphim slew her because of this. The narrator sees Annabel Lee’s brilliant eyes in the stars in his dreams every night and dreams about her.

The narrator slumbers by her side at the seaside of the mausoleum each night. This poem focuses on a perfect love that is extraordinarily powerful. In actuality, the narrator’s actions reveal that he worships Annabel Lee, which is only possible by him after she had passed away.

The narrator acknowledges that Annabel Lee and he fell in love when they were young, but his justification that angels killed her is infantile in and of itself, implying that he has not grown up since then. According to “Annabel Lee”, the two will be together once more because not even devils, “can ever dissever” their souls, in contrast to “The Raven” where the narrator thinks he will “nevermore” be reunited with his love.


What is the shortest poem by Edgar Allan Poe?

The shortest poem of Edgar Allan Poe is Alone.

What is Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem?

Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous poem is “The Raven” which was first published in the year 1845 and was later recollected in the book “The Raven and Other Poems” in the following year.

What are some of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems?

Some of the poems Edgar Allan Poe wrote are An Acrostic, Al Aaraaf, Annabel Lee, The Bells, Beloved Physician, and The City in the Sea”

What is Edgar Allan Poe’s creepiest poem?

The creepiest poem written by Edgar Allan Poe is Spirits of the Dead. It is also known as one of his “darkest poems”.

What was Edgar Allan Poe’s first poem?

The Happiest Day written in 1827 was first released in Poe’s debut anthology, Tamerlane and Other Poems. It is possible that Poe wrote it while he was in the military. “The Happiest Day” was written when he was only 19 years old talking about a self-pitying loss of youth.

What type of poem is Annabel Lee?

As the poem Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe features a conflict, and some characters, and has a clear narrative arc, it can be categorized as a narrative poem.

What is the last poem Edgar Allan Poe wrote?

The last poem written by the American author Edgar Allan Poe is titled “Annabel Lee”. It examines the issue of the death of a beautiful woman, as do many of Poe’s writings.

What type of poem is ‘The Raven‘?

The narrative poem “The Raven” by American author Edgar Allan Poe is a narrative poem that was first published in January 1845 and has been well known for its melody, stylized language, and eerie mood.