Talk:Edgar Allan Poe

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Edgar Allan Poe page.


I have to say that I disagree with using all these images; some are not intentionally illustrative of Poe's words and some do not necessarily reflect them. The image of Poe's wife, for example, includes a quote from a poem written two years before their marriage - putting the quote as the caption implies that the lines are about her, which is not true. -- 17:56, 29 April 2008 (UTC)Reply

I'm going to bring this up again because my previous attempt at editing was reverted: Some of these images are not related to Poe. Some of these captions are not related to their image. Some examples: quoting a poem Poe wrote one he was 15 with an image of him at 39? Quoting a poem under the image of Poe's wife when the poem was written two years before they were engaged (thereby suggesting the poem was about her, even though it clearly is not)? Quoting "Annabel Lee" with an image of Sarah Elmira Royster (when several women could claim inspiration)? A statue of El Cid with a quote from Eldorado? Using I have seen no other page on Wikiquote with this kind of problem... why are we setting a precedent with Poe? This is, frankly, disappointing and shameful. -- 18:48, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply
I hadn't realized it was a standard practice to use quotes in the main image (my first check was on Mark Twain, who does not follow this practice). Even so, the entire quote page is very POV, pushing the dark, horror, scary side of Poe as someone who was demented, different, and obsessed with death (the quotes about Poe in particular push this). Why not quote something that is more than just the mainstream image of Poe, and focus on the beauty of his work, rather than the darkness and horror he is perceived as embodying? (As an aside, I have personally brought the wikipedia article on Edgar Allan Poe to featured article and have the tendency to consider myself an expert... a poem he wrote when he was 15 does not sum up the man well at all). Here's an alternative suggestion, using his own words rather than fiction: "After all... Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path." -Letter from Poe to Frederick W. Thomas, February 1849. -- 21:19, 30 April 2008 (UTC)Reply
Your suggestion for the first caption sounds good to me. As for your point about the types of quotes that appear here, if you have others that are properly sourced and reflect another side of him, feel free to add them. Your point above about the appropriateness of using certain quotes as captions, again if you have others that might be better served as captions, feel free to change them. ~ UDScott 16:10, 1 May 2008 (UTC)Reply


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Edgar Allan Poe. --Antiquary 19:21, 27 March 2009 (UTC)Reply

  • No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter ... than you and I; and all religion ... is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry.
  • The idea of God, infinity, or spirit stands for the possible attempt at an impossible conception.
  • The pioneers and missionaries of religion have been the real cause of more trouble and war than all other classes of mankind.
  • Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.
  • I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
  • I have become insane with random intervals of horrible sanity.
  • I don't believe in ghosts but they have been chasing me my whole life.
  • Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger, portion of the truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.


“Sleep, those little slices of death—how I loathe them.” This is widely attributed to Poe, possibly because Nightmare on Elm Street 3 claimed so, but there doesn’t seem to be any record of his ever having said this. But should it be mentioned in here? What is Wikiquote's policy on false attributions? Correct them? Ignore them and let them persist? — 22:30, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

I found the FAQ and I’m adding the quote per Wikiquote:FAQ#Misattributions. Thanks. — 22:35, 3 March 2014 (UTC)Reply

The world is a great ocean[edit]

I saw this quote attributed to Poe: "The world is a great ocean, upon which we encounter more tempestuous storms than calms." But I can't find any context of where it is from. It does show up in a book of quotations from the early 1900s, but that's all I can find:


Does anyone know the original source for this quote? Is this sufficient to add to the article? -- 23:59, 26 January 2018 (UTC)Reply

William Wilson [1839] plot summary and quotes[edit]

− William Wilson" was written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1839

Wilson confronts his "double" in an illustration by Arthur Rackham 1935

− − − The story follows a dying man of "a noble descent" who calls himself William Wilson because, although denouncing his profligate past of a miserable life of unspeakable misery and unpardonable crime, he does not accept full blame for his actions, saying that "man was never thus ... tempted before". He retorts that while some men became base by degrees, he is one in whom all virtue dropped in an instant. [Wilson is not his real name which has become a byword of horror]. He admits that his family has been renowned "... whose imaginative and easily excitable temperament has at all times rendered them remarkable; and, in my earliest infancy, I gave evidence of having fully inherited the family character. As I advanced in years it was more strongly developed; becoming, for many reasons, a cause of serious disquietude to my friends, and of positive injury to myself. I grew self-willed, addicted to the wildest caprices, and a prey to the most ungovernable passions...I was left to the guidance of my own will, and became, in all but name, the master of my own actions." After several paragraphs, the narration then segues into a description of Wilson's boyhood, which is spent in a school "in a misty-looking village of England". William meets another boy in his school who has the same name and roughly the same appearance, and who was even born on the same date (January 19, Poe's own birthday). William's name (he asserts that his actual name is only similar to "William Wilson") embarrasses him because it sounds "plebeian" or common, and he is irked that he must hear the name twice as much on account of the other William.The boy also dresses like William, walks like him, but can only speak in a whisper. He begins to give advice to William of an unspecified nature, which he refuses to obey, resenting the boy's "arrogance". One night he steals into the other William's bedroom and recoils in horror at the boy's face—which now resembles his own. William then immediately leaves the academy and, in the same week, the other boy follows suit.William eventually attends Eton and Oxford, gradually becoming more debauched and performing what he terms "mischief". For example, he steals from a man by cheating at cards-first by letting him win and then tricking him to place very expansive wagers. The other William appears, his face covered, and whispers a few words sufficient to alert others to William's behavior, and then leaves with no others seeing his face. William leaves the room and is stunned to find his doppelganger has had a fur coat similar to his own. After being subject to admonished at Eaton and his honor destroyed at Oxford, William [no matter where he flies to--Vienna, Berlin, Moscow] is haunted by his double in subsequent years, who thwarts plans described by William as driven by ambition [in Rome], revenge [in Paris], passionate Love [in Naples], and avarice [In Egypt]. One thing William cannot understand is that while no one knows anything about his double, his double always seems to know everything about William. In his latest caper, he attempts to seduce [with her consent] a young married noblewoman at Carnival in Rome, but the other William stops him; the enraged protagonist drags his "unresisting" double—who wears identical clothes—into an antechamber, and stabs him fatally.After William does this, a large mirror suddenly seems to appear. Reflected at him, he sees "mine own image, but with features all pale and dabbled in blood": apparently the dead double, "but he spoke no longer in a whisper". The narrator feels as if he is pronouncing the words: "In me didst thou exist—and in my death, see ... how utterly thou hast murdered thyself."

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry![edit]

Perhaps it's worth including with the "All religion ... " quote in # 2 Disputed. Mcljlm (talk) 00:19, 14 May 2020 (UTC)Reply