A Dream Within a Dream

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For the vivid dream experience about awakening from sleep, see False awakening. For the Alan Parsons Project song, see A Dream Within a Dream (song).

"A Dream Within a Dream" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1849. The poem is 24 lines, divided into two stanzas. The poem questions the way one can distinguish between reality and fantasy, asking, "Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream?"

Analysis[edit]

The poem dramatizes a confusion in watching the important things in life slip away.[1] Realizing he cannot hold onto even one grain of sand leads to his final question that all things are a dream.[2]

The poem references "golden sand," an image derived from the 1848 finding of gold in California.[1]

Publication history[edit]

The poem was first published in the March 31, 1849 edition of a Boston-based periodical called Flag of Our Union.[2] The same publication had only two weeks before first published Poe's short story "Hop-Frog." The next month, owner Frederick Gleason announced it could no longer pay for whatever articles and poems it published.

Adaptations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Silverman, Kenneth. Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance. New York: Harper Perennial, 1991. p. 402 ISBN 0-06-092331-8
  2. ^ a b Sova, Dawn B. Edgar Allan Poe: A to Z. New York: Checkmark Books, 2001: 73. ISBN 0-8160-4161-X

External links[edit]