Not long ago, the writer of these lines,
In the mad pride of intellectuality,
Maintained “the power of words”- denied that ever
A thought arose within the human brain
Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:
And now, as if in mockery of that boast,
Two words- two foreign soft dissyllables-
Italian tones, made only to be murmured
By angels dreaming in the moonlit “dew
That hangs like chains of pearl on Hermon hill,”
Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart,
Unthought-like thoughts that are the souls of thought,
Richer, far wilder, far diviner visions
Than even seraph harper, Israfel,
(Who has “the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures,”)
Could hope to utter. And I! my spells are broken.
The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand.
With thy dear name as text, though bidden by thee,
I cannot write- I cannot speak or think-
Alas, I cannot feel; for ’tis not feeling,
This standing motionless upon the golden
Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams.
Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,
And thrilling as I see, upon the right,
Upon the left, and all the way along,
Amid empurpled vapors, far away
To where the prospect terminates- thee only.
-Edgar Allan Poe
Born on January 19, 1809, Edgar Allan Poe was and still is a well-known poet. From “The Raven” to “Tell-tale Heart”, Poe has captured all of our undivided attention as he has gained millions of poetic fanatics all over the world. In this particular poem, “To ____ _____ _____”, Poe blends all of his emotions into one poem hoping to touch the hearts of those who are able to relate to him.
With the first lines in the poem, Edgar Allan Poe states that even if someone full of pride wants to show off their skills and be able to fully communicate their ideas, they can not. Even if we think beyond our most important thoughts, we will never be able to shape the true meaning of our hearts by simply using our words.
A shift occurs when he mentions Hermon Hill which was a famous place in the Bible. Hermon Hill was a beautiful hill that no eyes could ignore no matter which side someone lived. Even a breath taking scene like Hermon Hill was unable to bring the words out of anyone who observed it. Poe mentions the angel of God who has the most beautiful voice but even his voice cannot describe the beautiful simplicity that is represented by this hill.
Poe feels however, that he is more powerful when he has a pen in hand and bleeds. He believes that even if he does not have the most beautiful voice, he can still reach out to those who give his writing a chance. He becomes powerless when ideas are beyond his thoughts and the power that he had within his pen become a weakness and he no longer able to write. He finds that through his imperfections, he is able to find strength within his words when he has been trained. Since he has been trained thoroughly with love, he is most powerful when he writes about his experiences which is why he ends the poem with the words: “Thee only.”