Saturday, August 8, 2009

Poe Fridays (on Saturday)

Since I was out of town last weekend, this week I have TWO Poe's to discuss - the poem, Bridal Ballad, and the short story, Mesmeric Revelation.

Bridal Ballad

The ring is on my hand,
And the wreath is on my brow;
Satins and jewels grand
Are all at my command,
And I am happy now.

And my lord he loves me well;
But, when first he breathed his vow,
I felt my bosom swell--
For the words rang as a knell,
And the voice seemed his who fell
In the battle down the dell,
And who is happy now.

But he spoke to reassure me,
And he kissed my pallid brow,
While a reverie came o'er me,
And to the churchyard bore me,
And I sighed to him before me,
Thinking him dead D'Elormie,
"Oh, I am happy now!"

And thus the words were spoken,
And thus the plighted vow,
And, though my faith be broken,
And, though my heart be broken,
Behold the golden token
That proves me happy now!

Would God I could awaken!
For I dream I know not how,
And my soul is sorely shaken
Lest an evil step be taken,--
Lest the dead who is forsaken
May not be happy now.

I found this to be quite a beautiful poem. The narrator (a woman!) is about to be married, but is not marrying her first love, who was killed in battle. She wants to be happy, but is afraid she will betray the memory of her first love, and will make his spirit unhappy. This is certainly a feeling I can understand, and I found the "voice" of the narrator to be quite lovely. I really enjoyed this one.

Mesmeric Revelation

(read the full text here)

Well. I think Poe was attempting to explain some of the tenets of early 19th century spiritualism. The narrator mesmerizes (hypnotizes) a man who is dying, and asks the man a bunch of questions. The dying man then says many things about God, ether, spirits, etc. I found it interesting from a historical perspective, but didn't really ENJOY reading it. It certainly wasn't a great story, but it was not a horrible read.

Poe Fridays is hosted by Kristen at WeBeReading.


Serena said...

These are great poems. If you are ever interested in discussing a poem or two, I've got a new feature in its 7th week called the Virtual Poetry Circle.

I post a poem and readers give their initial reactions to it...from classic to contemporary poets

Anonymous said...

I had never read that first poem. It's so weird to me that Poe should switch between really gothic tales of horror, and love poetry.

Kristen M. said...

I'm a bit wary of the mesmerism piece now! I will be discussing it next week due to a migraine this week so you can have a week off. :)