Quotes by Edgar Allan Poe

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Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, editor and critic and one of the leaders of the American Romantics. He is best known for his tales of the macabre and his poems, as well as being one of the early practitioners of the short story and a progenitor of detective fiction, as well as crime fiction in the United States. Poe died at the age of 40, the cause of his death a final mystery. His exact burial location is also a source of controversy. more

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I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

I have great faith in fools; My friends call it self-confidence.
All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
Thank Heaven! the crisis --The danger, is past, and the lingering illness, is over at last --, and the fever called Living is conquered at last.
That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.
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.
Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance.
It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.
Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that can be thought, on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most superficial sentiment.
I have no faith in human perfectibility. 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.
To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.
That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.
There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.
All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.
There are few cases in which mere popularity should be considered a proper test of merit; but the case of song-writing is, I think, one of the few.
To be thoroughly conversant with a man's heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of despair.
In criticism I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.
A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this -- that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made -- not to understand -- but to feel -- as crime.
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.
Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heartone of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man.
The nose of a mob is its imagination. By this, at any time, it can be quietly led.
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.
We now demand the light artillery of the intellect; we need the curt, the condensed, the pointed, the readily diffused -- in place of the verbose, the detailed, the voluminous, the inaccessible. On the other hand, the lightness of the artillery should not degenerate into pop-gunnery -- by which term we may designate the character of the greater portion of the newspaper press -- their sole legitimate object being the discussion of ephemeral matters in an ephemeral manner.
Believe me, there exists no such dilemma as that in which a gentleman is placed when he is forced to reply to a blackguard.
Man's real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.
If any ambitious man have a fancy to revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment, the opportunity is his own -- the road to immortal renown lies straight, open, and unencumbered before him. All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple -- a few plain words -- My Heart Laid Bare. But -- this little book must be true to its title.
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 these more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind.
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
All that we see or seem,is but a dream within a dream.
The angels, whispering to one another Can find, among their burning terms of love, None so devotional as that of "Mother"