A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.
There is no exquisite beauty without some strangeness in the proportion.
There is no exquisite beauty," says Bacon, Lord Verulam, speaking truly of all the forms and genera of beauty, "without some strangeness in the proportion."
It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.
We loved with a love that was more than love.
Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
The object, Truth, or the satisfaction of the intellect, and the object, Passion, or the excitement of the heart, are, although attainable, to a certain extent, in poetry, far more readily attainable in prose.
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December; And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly, I wished the morrow; -- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow -- sorrow for the lost Leonore -
For the rare and radiant maiden who the angels name Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.
The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
As a poet and as a mathematician, he would reason well; as a mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all.
Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day; or the agonies which are have their origins in ecstasies which might have been.
It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma... which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve.
There are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction.
Many years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr. William Legrand. He was of an ancient Huguenot family, and had once been wealthy; but a series of misfortunes had reduced him to want.
To see distinctly the machinery -- the wheels and pinions -- of any work of Art is, unquestionably, of itself, a pleasure, but one which we are able to enjoy only just in proportion as we do not enjoy the legitimate effect designed by the artist.
Odors have an altogether peculiar force, in affecting us through association; a force differing essentially from that of objects addressing the touch, the taste, the sight or the hearing.
Now this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded.
The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of Artist.
I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of golden sand- How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep- while I weep!
It is with literature as with law or empire -- an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.
A cadaverousness of complexion; an eye large, liquid and very luminous...finely molded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy.
In me didst thou exist-and, in my death, see by this image, which is thine own, how utterly thou hast murdered thyself.
If in many of my productions terror has been the thesis, I maintain that terror is not of Germany, but of the soul.
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 .
Were I called on to define, very briefly, the term Art, I should call it 'the reproduction of what the Senses perceive in Nature through the veil of the soul.' The mere imitation, however accurate, of what is in Nature, entitles no man to the sacred name of 'Artist.'
I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as the Rhythmical Creation of Beauty. Its sole arbiter is taste. With the intellect or with the conscience, it has only collateral relations. Unless incidentally, it has no concern whatever either with duty or with truth.
I am walking like a bewitched corpse, with the certainty of being eaten by the infinite, of being annulled by the only existing Absurd.
And, all at once, the moon arouse through the thin ghastly mist, And was crimson in color... And they lynx which dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom. And lay down at the feet of the demon. And looked at him steadily in the face.
Most writers -- poets in especial -- prefer having it understood that they compose by a species of fine frenzy -- an ecstatic intuition -- and would positively shudder at letting the public take a peep behind the scenes.
There is then no analogy whatever between the operations of the Chess-Player, and those of the calculating machine of Mr. Babbage , and if we choose to call the former a pure machine we must be prepared to admit that it is, beyond all comparison, the most wonderful of the inventions of mankind.
It may be roundly asserted that human ingenuity cannot concoct a cipher which human ingenuity cannot resolve.
There are some qualities, some incorporate things, that have a double life, which thus is made. A type os twin entity which springs from matter and light, envinced in solid and shade.
I call to mind flatness and dampness; and then all is madness -- the madness of a memory which busies itself among forbidden things.
Dreams are the eraser dust I blow off my page.
They fade into the emptiness, another dark gray day.
Dreams are only memories of the plans I had back then.
Dreams are eraser dust and now I use a pen.
I have not only labored solely for the benefit of others (receiving for myself a miserable pittance), but have been forced to model my thoughts at the will of men whose imbecility was evident to all but themselves.
The Bostonians are really, as a race, far inferior in point of anything beyond mere intellect to any other set upon the continent of North America. They are decidedly the most servile imitators of the English it is possible to conceive.
In the deepest slumber-no! In delirium-no! In a swoon-no! In death-no! even in the grave all is not lost.
In death -- no! even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no immortality for man. Arousing from the most profound slumbers, we break the gossamer web of some dream. Yet in a second afterward, (so frail may that web have been) we remember not that we have dreamed.
Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.
The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.
Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit 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 nevermore!
Philosophers have often held dispute As to the seat of thought in man and brute For that the power of thought attends the latter My friend, thy beau, hath made a settled matter, And spite of dogmas current in all ages, One settled fact is better than ten sages. (O,Tempora! O,Mores!).
He is, as you say, a remarkable horse, a prodigious horse, although as you very justly observe, a suspicious and untractable character.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -- Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore! Quoth the raven, 'Nevermore.'
There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a Plunge.
And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting.
And the Raven, never flitting, Still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas Just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming Of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamplight o'er him streaming Throws his shadow on the floor, And my soul from out that shadow, That lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted -- nevermore.
If I venture to displace ... the microscopical speck of dust... on the point of my finger,... I have done a deed which shakes the Moon in her path, which causes the Sun to be no longer the Sun, and which alters forever the destiny of multitudinous myriads of stars.
Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities- that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.
Always keep a big bottle of booze at your side. If a bird starts talking nonsense to you in the middle of the night pour yourself a stiff drink.
In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed -- But a waking dream of life and light Hath left me broken-hearted.
We allude to the short prose narrative, requiring from a half hour to one or two hours in its perusal.
No thinking being lives who, at some luminous point of his life of thought, has not felt himself lost amid the surges of futile efforts at understanding, or believing, that anything exists greater than his own soul.
That is another of your odd notions, said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing odd that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of oddities.
No murmur arose from its bed, and so gently it wandered along, that the pearly pebbles upon which we loved to gaze, far down within its bosom, stirred not at all, but lay in a motionless content, each in its own old station, shining on gloriously forever.
The truth is, I am heartily sick of this life and of the nineteenth century in general. (I am convinced that every thing is going wrong.).
Truth is not always in a well. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found.
But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch's high estate; (Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow Shall dawn upon him desolate!) And round about his home the glory That blushed and bloomed, Is but a dim-remembered story Of the old time entombed.
Read this and thought of you: Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say. ~ Edgar Allen Poe.
We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.
No pictorial or sculptural combinations of points of human loveliness, do more than approach the living and breathing human beauty as it gladdens our daily path.
As for Republicanism, no analogy could be found for it upon the face of the earth--unless we except the case of the prairie dogs, an exception which seems to demonstrate, if anything, that democracy is a very admirable form of government--for dogs.
There are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them.
If I could dwell where Israfel hath dwelt and he where I he might not sing so wildly well a mortal melody while a bolder note then this might swell from my lyre in the sky.
The want of an international Copy-Right Law, by rendering it nearly impossible to obtain anything from the booksellers in the wayof remuneration for literary labor, has had the effect of forcing many of our very best writers into the service of the Magazines and Reviews.
The writer who neglects punctuation, or mispunctuates, is liable to be misunderstood for the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid.
If you do not take it up with you in some way, I shall be under the necessity of breaking your head with this shovel.
There might be a class of beings, human once, but now to humanity invisible, for whose scrutiny, and for whose refined appreciation of the beautiful, more especially than for our own, had been set in order by God the great landscape-garden of the whole earth.
If we examine a work of ordinary art, by means of a powerful microscope, all traces of resemblance to nature will disappear -- but the closest scrutiny of the photogenic drawing discloses only a more absolute truth, a more perfect identity of aspect with the thing represented.
One half of the pleasure experienced at a theatre arises from the spectator's sympathy with the rest of the audience, and, especially from his belief in their sympathy with him.
Not hear it? -- yes, I hear it, and have heard it. Long -- long -- long -- many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it -- yet I dared not -- oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am! -- I dared not -- I dared not speak! We have put her living in the tomb!
As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles.
I need scarcely observe that a poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. The value of the poem is in the ratio of this elevating excitement. But all excitements are, through a psychal necessity, transient.
To him, who still would gaze upon the glory of the summer sun, there comes, when that sun will from him part, a sullen hopelessness of heart.
Finally on Sunday morning, October 7, 1849, He became quiet and seemed to rest for a short time. Then, gently, moving his head, he said, Lord help my poor soul. As he had lived so he died-in great misery and tragedy.
The true genius shudders at incompleteness.
The true genius shudders at incompleteness -- and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.
I found him well educated, with unusual powers of mind, but infected with misanthropy, and subject to perverse moods of alternate enthusiasm and melancholy.
There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.
Out- out are the lights- out all! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall, Comes down with the rush of a storm, While the angels, all pallid and wan, Uprising, unveiling, affirm That the play is the tragedy, Man, And its hero the Conqueror Worm.
That single thought is enough. The impulse increases to a wish, the wish to a desire, the desire to an uncontrollable longing, and the longing (to the deep regret and mortification of the speaker, and in defiance of all consequences,) is indulged.
It is evident that we are hurrying onward to some exciting knowledge--some never-to-be-imparted secret, whose attainment is destruction.
I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension, without the power to comprehend as men, at time, find themselves upon the brink of rememberance, without being able, in the end, to remember.
In our endeavors to recall to memory something long forgotten, we often find ourselves upon the very verge of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember.
Once upon a midnight dreary.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary.
I will, therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by a the elaborate frivolity of chess.
But our love was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we Of many far wiser than we And neither the angels in heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
And then there stole into my fancy, like a rich musical note, the thought of what sweet rest there must be in the grave.
By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmament by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct.
Fill with mingled cream and amber,
I will drain that glass again.
Such hilarious visions clamber
Through the chamber of my brain --
Quaintest thoughts -- queerest fancies
Come to life and fade away;
What care I how time advances?
I am drinking ale today.
Hear the mellow wedding bells, Golden bells! What a world of happiness their harmony foretells Through the balmy air of night How they ring out their delight! From the molten golden notes, And all in tune What a liquid ditty floats To the turtle-dove that listens while she gloats On the moon!
I never can hear a crowd of people singing and gesticulating, all together, at an Italian opera, without fancying myself at Athens, listening to that particular tragedy, by Sophocles, in which he introduces a full chorus of turkeys, who set about bewailing the death of Meleager.
There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.
There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told. Men die nightly in their beds, wringing the hands of ghostly confessors, and looking them piteously in the eyes -- die with despair of heart and convulsion of throat, on account of the hideousness of mysteries which will not suffer themselves to be revealed. Now and then, alas, the conscience of man takes up a burden so heavy in horror that it can be thrown down only into the grave. And thus the essence of all crime is undivulged.
I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active -- not more happy -- nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream...
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.
I was cautious in what I said before the young lady; for I could not be sure that she was sane; and, in fact, there was a certain restless brilliancy about her eyes that half led me to imagine she was not.
This the mass of mankind saw not, or, living lustily although unhappily, affected not to see. But, for myself, the Earth's records had taught me to look for widest ruin as the price of highest civilization.
Man could not both know and succumb. Meantime huge smoking cities arose, innumerable. Green leaves shrank before the hot breath of furnaces. The fair face of Nature was deformed as with the ravages of some loathsome disease.
I would have soothed-I would have reasoned; but, in the intensity of her wild desire for life,-for life-but for life-solace and reason were the uttermost folly.
The esteemed Reverend Rufus Griswold is everything I aspire to be, though I fear I shall never soar so quite as high as he
-from his resignation letter to Graham's Magazine.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee.
And, indeed, if ever that spirit which is entitled Romance-if ever she, the wan and the misty-winged Ashtophet of idolatrous Egypt, presided, as they tell, over marriages ill-omened, then most surely she presided over mine.
Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?
The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all those more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind.
I have been happy, though in a dream.
I have been happy-and I love the theme:
Dreams! in their vivid colouring of life
As in that fleeting, shadowy, misty strife.
I was deeply interested in the little family history which he detailed to me with all that candor which a Frenchman indulges whenever mere self is the theme.
In the Heaven's above, the angels, whispering to one another, can find, among their burning terms of love, none so devotional as that of 'Mother.
Sometimes I'm terrified of my heart; of its constant hunger for whatever it is it wants. The way it stops and starts.
Yes I now feel that it was then on that evening of sweet dreams- that the very first dawn of human love burst upon the icy night of my spirit. Since that period I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight half of anxiety.
Villains!' I shrieked. 'Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It is the beating of his hideous heart!
There are moments when, even to the sober eye of Reason, the world of our sad humanity must assume the aspect of Hell.