90 Fascinating Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

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Edgar Allan Poe is famous around the globe for his dark, macabre and mysterious tales. He wrote countless poems and short stories, many of which are considered literary classics. 

His most celebrated works include titles like The Raven, The Tell Tale Heart, The Black Cat, and The Fall of the House of Usher, just to name a few. Though he died in 1849, his spine tingling stories are still hugely popular, and hundreds of thousands of his books are sold every year. 

Who Was Edgar Allan Poe?

Poe was born in 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. He experienced tragedy from a very early age; both of his parents passed away when he was just three. He was taken in by Mr. John Allan, who lived in Richmond, Virginia, and worked as a successful tobacco merchant. Though they never formally adopted him, John and his wife became Poe’s guardians. Their relationship was often strained, but despite their differences, the Allens took care of Edgar until he left home as a man.  

In the late 1920s, after attending boarding school in England, studying at the University of Virginia, and enlisting in the US Army, Poe began to dedicate his time to writing and publishing. 

He had a long and fruitful career and enjoyed writing until the day he died. His work captured readers’ imaginations worldwide, and his gripping tales of horror, suspense, and mystery have laid the foundations for countless authors ever since. 

All of this success saw Edgar Allan Poe become one of America’s most famous and well-loved authors. He wrote well over 40 books during his prolific career, and he left the world with some fascinating and intriguing quotes. 

His words range from poignant nuggets of wisdom on love and beauty to macabre and chilling insights into the human condition. 

So without further ado, I’ve put together a list of my top 50 favorite Edgar Allen Poe quotes. Enjoy!

Best Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”

“We loved with a love that was more than love.”

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

“I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.”

“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.”

“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.”

“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.”

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.”

“The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.”

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.”

“From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.”

“Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.”

“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.”

“Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.”

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.”

“And all I loved, I loved alone.”

“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.”

“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.”

“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.”

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”

“Deep in earth my love is lying

And I must weep alone.”

“There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.”

“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.”

“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.”

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”

“And so being young and dipped in folly I fell in love with melancholy.”

“Invisible things are the only realities.”

“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.”

“The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.”

“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.”

“I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind”

“A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!

And, in parting from you now,

Thus much let me avow-

You are not wrong, who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar

Of a surf-tormented shore,

And I hold within my hand

Grains of the golden sand-

How few! yet how they creep

Through my fingers to the deep,

While I weep- while I weep!

O God! can I not grasp

Them with a tighter clasp?

O God! can I not save

One from the pitiless wave?

Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?”

“Every moment of the night

Forever changing places

And they put out the star-light

With the breath from their pale faces”

“With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.”

“I dread the events of the future, not in themselves but in their results.”

“That which you mistake for madness is but an overacuteness of the senses.”

“To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.”

“It is a happiness to wonder; — it is a happiness to dream.”

“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?”

“Now this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded…”

“I intend to put up with nothing that I can put down.”

“I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty.”

“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.”

“You are not wrong who deem

That my days have been a dream;

Yet if hope has flown away

In a night, or in a day,

In a vision, or in none,

Is it therefore the less gone?

All that we see or seem

Is but a dream within a dream.”

“Yet mad I am not…and very surely do I not dream.”

“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.”

“To die laughing must be the most glorious of all glorious deaths!”

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is of good, and more of the mere knowledge which is of evil.”

“Stupidity is a talent for misconception.”

“Even in the grave, all is not lost.”

“The best things in life make you sweaty.”

“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”

“Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.”

“Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.”

“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.”

“But our love was stronger by far than the love

Of those who were older than we

Of many far wiser than we

And neither the angels in heaven above,

Nor the demons down under the sea,

Can ever dissever my soul from the soul

Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.”

“True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute.”

“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.”

“Leave my loneliness unbroken.”

“And I fell violently on my face.”

“Fill with mingled cream and amber, 

I will drain that glass again.

Such hilarious visions clamber

Through the chamber of my brain —

Quaintest thoughts — queerest fancies

Come to life and fade away;

What care I how time advances?

I am drinking ale today.”

“And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

“Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore…”

“Is all that we see or seem

But a dream within a dream?”

“Art is to look at not to criticize.”

“In beauty of face no maiden ever equaled her. It was the radiance of an opium-dream – an airy and spirit-lifting vision more wildly divine than the fantasies which hovered about the slumbering souls of the daughters of Delos.”

“Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger, portion of truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.”

“Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.”

“The ninety and nine are with dreams, content, but the hope of the world made new, is the hundredth man who is grimly bent on making those dreams come true.”

“The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls…”

“Villains!’ I shrieked. ‘Dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It is the beating of his hideous heart!”

“A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.”

“Mysteries force a man to think, and so injure his health.”

“You call it hope — that fire of fire!

It is but agony of desire.”

“When, indeed, men speak of Beauty, they mean, precisely, not a quality, as is supposed, but an effect – they refer, in short, just to that intense and pure elevation of soul – not of intellect, or of heart.”

“In criticism, I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.”

“The rain came down upon my head – Unshelter’d. And the wind rendered me mad and deaf and blind.”

“Lord help my poor soul.”

“The idea of God, infinity, or spirit stands for the possible attempt at an impossible conception.”

“I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.”

“We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.”

“A million candles have burned themselves out. Still I read on. (Montresor)”

“Blood was its Avatar and its seal.”

“If a poem hasn’t ripped apart your soul; you haven’t experienced poetry.”

“Here I opened wide the door;— Darkness there, and nothing more.”

“All suffering originates from craving, from attachment, from desire.”

“The eye, like a shattered mirror, multiplies the images of sorrow.”

“And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor, Shall be lifted — Nevermore!”

“Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day; or the agonies which are have their origins in ecstasies which might have been.”

I hope you enjoyed these quotes from the late great Edgar Allan Poe. Which Edgar Allan Poe quote is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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