The Romantic Imagination 评价人数不足
读书笔记 Edgar Allan Poe
亂室佳人

Concluding Remarks

Poe has his excellent moments, but he seldom sustains them through a whole poem. But a more powerful cause of his relative failure seems to be that his theory of poetry accentuated certain weakness in his natural equipment for it. He lived in dreams and desires and wished to write of them; yet not only was he himself content to keep them vague, but his theory justified him in doing so. The result is that instead of using images which display his themes vividly and concretely, he remains misty and indefinite. Too often his main mood is of an indeterminate, melancholy longing, which may have a transitory charm but is not the stuff from which great poetry is made. Moreover, just as Poe sought an escape from life in drink and deceptions, so in his poetry he pays a heavy price for his lack of grip on reality. His poetry has not enough authentically mature experience to make it really powerful and persuasive. It exploits something which is certainly human and worthy of exploitation, but by some trick of character or fortune Poe seems never to have extracted all that he might have even from his own special field.
Still, Poe is none the less an important figure in the history of the Romantic movement, because he carried to an extreme conclusion certain ideas and aspirations which others pressed less rigorously. The “Beyond”, which he sought so eagerly, was undeniably a “Beyond”, not something hidden in the known world.
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