From the outset of this poem, the
poet has been struggling with the creation
of a metaphor. This metaphor, understood
as connecting with the ideas of travel,
movement, relocation, itself cannot
be reduced to one or another of these
terms. "It was as
if the reader were writing the poem
while reading this."
Who were the letters
written about? This was all unclear.
Time was beginning to become saturated.
Elements of the past, present and future were
entering into the work.
Had the poem
actually discussed this already? Were the
current comments directed to something
taking place in the past (the former poem) or the
future (the poem in progress). The movement
metaphor had anticipated this. And this
is how the realization emerges that, here,
voyages are metaphors for the state
of anticipation. Voyages externalize
anticipation and the anxieties which
1) to show interest and concern
2) to feign interest (La R.)
3) indulgence and control
4) Poe's *Philosophy of Composition*
5) It is all there waiting for you,
the poet is saying. "Life presents itself to
us, all at once, at all times, in its
6)"I am aware, on the other hand,
that the case is by no means
common, in which an author is at
all in condition to retrace
the steps by which his conclusions
have been attained. In general,
suggestions, having arisen pell-mell,
are pursued and forgotten in a similar manner."
7) The poem must be determined, in
part, by what the poem feels compelled
to present, but in an obscured manner.
Something has happened, but it must be
disguised. A search, a finding,
an unearthing of a path- and
then a presentation of some of the markers
found along this path (not all).
Someone is present, soon familiar
to all as one of the characters.
8) Once, the character had revealed a
total willingnesss to steal, or had
participated in a betrayal. Of
course, a woman had been involved
in this- and, since it was a betrayal,
two women had been involved. Eventually
his spirit was shattered and remolded by
and because of this experience.
9) Bits and pieces which eventually
reveal the outline of a pattern, like
magnetic filings which reveal the movement
of a magnet. Scars are histories.