Alone

Alone

by Edgar Allan Poe

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 lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry 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 roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d 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—

Summary of Alone

  • Popularity of “Alone”: Edgar Allan Poe, a famous American poet and fiction writer, wrote ‘Alone’. It is a lyrical poem comprising gloomy and dark reflections on one’s life. It was first published in Scribner’s Monthly in 1875. The poem recollects the childhood memories of the speaker. It also illustrates how the experiences of his childhood have affected his life.
  • “Alone” As a Representative of Loneliness: This poem is written from the perspective of an adult who remembers his troubled childhood which made him gloomy. The speaker says that he has been different from others since his childhood and was not brought up in a typical family setting. He spent most of his time alone and could not get a chance to share his thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others. Therefore, his perception toward life and nature differs from the people who have enjoyed childhood. He adds, while others look up at the sky to see heaven and angels, he only sees darkness. In fact, the demons inside him never allow him to see, or sense anything positive. He fails to adore nature’s beauty. Although his life has been filled with good and bad events, yet it is still gloomy and dark due to his painful childhood.
  • Major Themes in “Alone”: Loneliness, sadness, and negativity are the major themes of the poem. The tormented speaker allows the reader to see glimpses of his childhood and bitter experiences that changed his perception of life as a whole. The somber and dark tone of the poem gives a direct clue to his tragic early years of speaker’s life. It is due to the isolation he faced at that time, the speaker is still experiencing sorrow.

Analysis of Literary Devices in “Alone”

Literary devices are tools that enable the writers to enhance their simple texts to bring richness and uniqueness in the texts and open multiple interpretations. Edgar Allan Poe has also used these tools to describe the bitter feelings of his childhood. The analysis of the literary devices used in this poem has been given below.

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things involving their five senses. For example, “From the red cliff of the mountain”, “From the thunder, and the storm” and “And the cloud that took the form”.
  2. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /r/ in “From the torrent, or the fountain”.
  3. Enjambment: It is a thought or clause that does not come to an end at a line break instead moves over the next line. For example,

“From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold.”

  1. Anaphora: It refers to the repetition of a word or expression in the first part of some verses. For example, “as others” is repeated in the opening lines to show his intense loneliness.
  2. Personification: Personification is to give human qualities to inanimate objects. For example, in the final lines of the poem, “When the rest of Heaven was blue” he personifies ‘the heavens’ as if it can feel sad.
  3. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /l/ in “And all I lov’d—Ilov’d alone.”

Analysis of Poetic Devices in “Alone”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. It is a long poem having twenty-two lines with no stanza break.
  2. Rhyme Scheme: The rhyme scheme followed by the entire poem is AABB.
  3. Iambic Tetrameter: It is a type of meter having four iambs per line. The poem follows iambic tetrameter such as, “From childhood’s hour I have not

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below can be used to adore the majestic beauty of nature. These can also be used to describe a place one has just visited.

“From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky.”