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William Haskins
02-26-2006, 03:14 AM
by Edgar Allen Poe (http://www.eapoe.org/)
(1809 - 1849)

The Happiest Day

The happiest day--the happiest hour
My seared and blighted heart hath known,
The highest hope of pride and power,
I feel hath flown.

Of power! said I? Yes! such I ween
But they have vanished long, alas!
The visions of my youth have been--
But let them pass.

And pride, what have I now with thee?
Another brow may ev'n inherit
The venom thou hast poured on me--
Be still my spirit!

The happiest day--the happiest hour
Mine eyes shall see--have ever seen,
The brightest glance of pride and power
I feel have been:

But were that hope of pride and power
Now offered with the pain
Ev'n then I felt--that brightest hour
I would not live again:

For on its wings was dark alloy
And as it fluttered--fell
An essence--powerful to destroy
A soul that knew it well.

StoryG27
02-26-2006, 04:05 AM
Not one beat, not one word is wasted. Each word carries it's own power, whether it is emotional, visual, or both, and the breaks set the perfect rhythm to this somber poem. IMO, it's a masterpiece (but I am biased and think pretty much everything by Edgar Allen Poe is a masterpiece).

mommie4a
02-26-2006, 04:09 AM
Icarus?

ddgryphon
02-26-2006, 04:53 AM
Not one beat, not one word is wasted. Each word carries it's own power, whether it is emotional, visual, or both, and the breaks set the perfect rhythm to this somber poem. IMO, it's a masterpiece (but I am biased and think pretty much everything by Edgar Allen Poe is a masterpiece).

Ditto, ditto, and ditto.

Paint
02-26-2006, 07:48 PM
Perfection--a masterpiece!

Perks
02-26-2006, 08:15 PM
I know so little about poetry, but I always respond to Poe. Some could argue that this should leave you feeling heavy, but it always feels like Poe carries the load for me and I end it feeling lighter.

William Haskins
02-26-2006, 08:47 PM
poe's continuing popularity is an interesting phenomenon to me.

thanks for all the comments.

Cassie88
02-26-2006, 09:04 PM
I couldn't grasp this poem at first reading a few days ago. Maybe it was late, maybe I was tired. But today, right now, I understand and that understanding is ... umm.... heavy to hold. My father once said to me, "I used to think I was a big man. I'm not."

That's what this poem brought to my mind.

poetinahat
02-27-2006, 10:06 AM
I've had to come back to this one as well. The gloomy vision of one whose best days are past is clear enough. It's the feeling of the last two stanzas on which I've ruminated.

What I see now is that, while the happiest day has passed, it was not what it had seemed. The regret isn't nostalgic -- it's the thought of having misplaced one's priorities in earlier days.

This realisation doesn't make the present any happier or easier to bear. But it does bring an acknowledgment that experience has brought wisdom.

I'm going to appreciate this piece more and more with time. Surely, in part but not entirely, because I'm getting older.