No, not to die,

But to sleep, forever,

With a restless, curious eye

Staring aghast at dreams!

More real than life and pain—

People and things I saw, I see, again.

The only real that’s real is the real which seems.


I missed you on the train.

The loudest dream

Sounded in my ears.

I missed the train

And saw it pull away—

But without agony or tears—

I love my dreams

More than life and pain.

The only real that’s real is the real which seems.



  1. maryangeladouglas said,

    December 9, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Speaking about my own perception of the poem (and not what you intended which I cannot know not being a mind reader) I felt the spirit of Edgar Allen Poe precisely in the first five lines. And it seems like a ghost train.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      December 9, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      I don’t know why I can never spell Mr. Poe’s middle name right. It is so strongly engraved in my head as “Allen” not “Allan” and no matter what I do I can’t erase it. It would help if there was someday a literary revelation that corroborated this and now I feel I have put too many ‘r’s in corroborated and want to add even more.

      • thomasbrady said,

        December 9, 2015 at 10:17 pm

        Mary Angela Douglas, you know me so well.

        It does remind me of “A Dream Within A Dream.”

        The lovelier the poem, the more suffering involved. This poem wants to believe what it says because of what the poet suffers. The poet wishes that ‘seeming’ were all, that it doesn’t matter that the train is missed, but this, too, is a dream. The poet wants madly to be with the person on the train, the train missed. Life is sad, and sadly beautiful.

        Poe did not like his guardian, John Allan, so spelling his name wrong—done very often—secretly pleases Poe.

  2. maryangeladouglas said,

    December 10, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Haha Thomas Graves thank you for making me laugh re: Poe’s secret wish for his cold benefactor’s name not to go down in history spelled correctly. At least in the few things I’ve read about his life biographers are clear in the fact that his guardian was unkind to him and distant. I love Poe’s poems when I read them but I dont have that kind of mimetic, photographic or whatever it’s called kind of memory to recognize the poem within the poem. But I did have a vivid sensation that Poe himself was speaking DIRECTLY out of specifically those first five lines and I’m not kidding or exaggerating in the least. Not to mention the fact that I’ve never had that experience with any poem myself. I don’t believe in ‘channeling’ but somehow, he was really there in your poem I strongly feel. Is there a biography that gives in the most concrete and reliable details exactly what Poe did go through with his guardian? I would be very interested in knowing more about that. If you could please at your convenience, recommend something. Thank you!

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      Biographers inevitably portray Allan as cold but wise and Poe as flaky and irresponsible. The opposite is true. Allan did okay as a merchant, but then inherited a fortune which made him richer than Trump in today’s dollars. Poe objected to the older man’s philandering, and that was the source of the ill will. Allan spitefully shorted Poe funds for college. And after that, didn’t give him a penny. Poe wrote to live.

  3. maryangeladouglas said,

    December 10, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Wow. What the heck was in it for the false, lying biographers. That they lied about it and defended Allan is just as terrible as the fact that Poe went through all that. Thank you for that information.

    • maryangeladouglas said,

      December 10, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Thinking back I think the only biography I read on Poe was in the 6th grade when I became nuts about biogaphies in the school library. Of course the biographies written for 12 year olds at the time were almost always irresistibly sunny and left a lot out. Can you believe there are schools now that don’t even have libraries. This is appalling to me.

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