“To One in Paradise”: Inimical: Chapter Nine
To One in Paradise
I was looking on Pinterest for material on Edgar Allan Poe. His poem “Alone” is popular there. What I consider Poe’s great talent, and what makes him worth studying, is that quick acceleration, shifting mood from memory, to melancholy musing, to sudden peril.
“Ulalume” gives, arguably, the most perfect example of this:
But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
Said: “Sadly, this star I mistrust—
Her pallor I strangely mistrust:
Ah, hasten! —ah, let us not linger!
Ah fly!—let us fly!-for we must.”
(the link above goes to Poets.Org’s archive)
“The Bells”, extending the metaphor (these as symbols for the cycle of human life), from sleigh bells to funeral bells, is probably the most well-known example.
My favorite has always been, “To One in Paradise”; and I’ve used it twice, once as epigraph for Inimical, chapter nine, and later in my short novel, “Are You Haunted”, as epitaph for Lettie Drybrook’s tombstone.
Thou wast that all to me, love
For which my soul did pine—
A green Isle in the sea, love,
A fountain and a shrine,
All wreathed with fairy fruits and flowers,
And all the flowers were mine.
(the link above goes to the Poetry Foundation site)
Here is the poem as featured in Inimical, referencing Werner von Kneussl’s hopeless outlook, following his WWI service: