In Alone, Poe reflects upon a life experienced as an emotional outsider.
The narrator’s experience of perceiving life and emotions differently to others in Edgar Allen Poe‘s Alone, has led to him feeling isolated and here he is questioning why he sees things so differently. The beauty and irony of Alone’s major theme – that of feeling isolated, different, misunderstood – is one that many people can relate to, the very act of expressing these feelings through poetry connects the writer with others who feel the same.
Edgar Allen Poe’s early life was full of tragedy and by the time this poem is thought to have been written, despite his relatively young age, he had experienced a large amount of loss. Known for his darker-themed works, it perhaps makes sense in this context that where others see a blue sky, he often struggled to see past the ‘demon in his view’.
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.
Edgar Allen Poe