“Alone” is a 22-line poem, originally written in 1829 and left untitled and unpublished during his lifetime. The original manuscript was signed “E. A. Poe” and dated March 17, 1829. In February of that year, Poe’s foster mother Francis Allan had died. In September 1875, the poem, which had been in the possession of a family in Baltimore, was published with its title in Scribner’s Monthly. The editor, E. L. Didier, also reproduced a facsimile of the manuscript, though he admitted he added the date himself. The poem is now often included in anthologies.
“Alone” is often interpreted as autobiographical, expressing the author’s feelings of isolation and inner torment. Poet Daniel Hoffman believed “Alone” was evidence that “Poe really was a haunted man.” The poem, however, is an introspective about Poe’s youth, written when he was only 20 years old.
From childhood’s hour I have not been
As 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;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then — in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life — was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
Last updated Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:53