30 Thoughtful Quotes from Edgar Allan Poe

Last updated on Jan 18th, 2024

30 Thoughtful Quotes from Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (born January 19, 1809, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. – died October 7, 1849, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.) was an American writer, poet, storyteller, essayist, literary critic, publicist, and one of the most important representatives of American Romanticism.

Poe is widely known for his dark tales of mystery with a grim or ghastly atmosphere (Macabre). Some of his significant works include the narrative poem “The Raven” (1845) and tales “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (1841), “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842), “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843), “The Purloined Letter” (1844), and “The Cask of Amontillado” (1846). His short stories are considered the forerunner of detective novels.

Poe’s work left an immeasurable contribution to world literature, especially in the horror genre. In his honor, The Mystery Writers of America named their annual award after him (Edgars).

We loved with a love that was more than love. - Edgar Allan Poe (Annabel Lee Quotes)
1

We loved with a love that was more than love.Annabel Lee (New York Daily Tribune, October 9, 1849)

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? - Edgar Allan Poe (The Premature Burial Quotes)
2

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?The Premature Burial (Dollar Newspaper, July 31, 1844)

Words have no power to impress the mind with the exquisite horror of their reality. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket Quotes)
3

Words have no power to impress the mind with the exquisite horror of their reality.The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (July 1838), Chapter 12

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night. - Edgar Allan Poe (Eleonora Quotes)
4

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night.Eleonora (The Gift for 1842, October 1841)

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. - Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
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I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.Letter to George W. Eveleth (January 4, 1848)

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. - Edgar Allan Poe (A Dream Within a Dream Quotes)
6

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.A Dream Within a Dream (The Flag of Our Union, March 31, 1849)

7

I would define, in brief, the Poetry of words as “The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty.”
(Also known as: Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.)The Poetic Principle (Southern Literary Messenger, December 1848)

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Philosophy of Composition Quotes)
8

Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.The Philosophy of Composition (Graham's Magazine, April 1846)

9

The true genius shudders at incompleteness – imperfection – and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.Marginalia (Graham's Magazine, January 1848)

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. - Edgar Allan Poe (Eleonora Quotes)
10

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.
(Also known as: Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.)Eleonora (The Gift for 1842, October 1841)

When a madman appears thoroughly sane, indeed, it is high time to put him in a strait-jacket. - Edgar Allan Poe (The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether Quotes)
11

When a madman appears thoroughly sane, indeed, it is high time to put him in a strait-jacket.The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (Graham's Magazine, November 1845)

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. - Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
12

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.Letter to James Russell Lowell (July 2, 1844)

On account of the stupidity of some people, or (if talent be a more respectable word), on account of their talent for misconception. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Rationale of Verse Quotes)
13

On account of the stupidity of some people, or (if talent be a more respectable word), on account of their talent for misconception.
(Also known as: Stupidity is a talent for misconception.)The Rationale of Verse (Southern Literary Messenger, October 1848)

Beauty; the death, then, of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Philosophy of Composition Quotes)
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Beauty; the death, then, of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.The Philosophy of Composition (Graham's Magazine, April 1846)

I have great faith in fools: self-confidence my friends will call it. - Edgar Allan Poe (Marginalia Quotes)
15

I have great faith in fools: self-confidence my friends will call it.Marginalia (Southern Literary Messenger, June 1849)

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Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger, portion of truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Mystery of Marie Rogêt Quotes)
16

Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger, portion of truth arises from the seemingly irrelevant.The Mystery of Marie Rogêt (1842)

That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward. - Edgar Allan Poe (Marginalia Quotes)
17

That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.Marginalia (Graham's Magazine, December 1846)

If you wish to forget anything upon the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered. - Edgar Allan Poe (Marginalia Quotes)
18

If you wish to forget anything upon the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.Marginalia (United States Magazine and Democratic Review, November 1844)

To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness. - Edgar Allan Poe (Marginalia Quotes)
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To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.Marginalia (Southern Literary Messenger, July 1849)

It is the nature of truth in general, as of some ores in particular, to be richest when most superficial. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Rationale of Verse Quotes)
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It is the nature of truth in general, as of some ores in particular, to be richest when most superficial.The Rationale of Verse (Southern Literary Messenger, October 1848)

Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. - Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
21

Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man.Letter to Frederick W. Thomas (February 14, 1849)

It is with literature as with law or empire - an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession. - Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
22

It is with literature as with law or empire – an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.Letter to Mr. B (July 1836)

Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music without the idea is simply music; the idea without the music is prose from its very definitiveness. - Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
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Music, when combined with a pleasurable idea, is poetry; music without the idea is simply music; the idea without the music is prose from its very definitiveness.Letter to Mr. B (July 1836)

But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are, have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been. - Edgar Allan Poe (Berenice Quotes)
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But as, in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so, in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of to-day, or the agonies which are, have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.Berenice (Southern Literary Messenger, March 1835)

To observe attentively is to remember distinctly. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Murders in the Rue Morgue Quotes)
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To observe attentively is to remember distinctly.The Murders in the Rue Morgue (Graham's Magazine, April 1841)

Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man. - Edgar Allan Poe (Diddling Quotes)
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Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.Diddling (Philadelphia Saturday Courier, October 14, 1843)

How many good books suffer neglect through the inefficiency of their beginnings! - Edgar Allan Poe (Marginalia Quotes)
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How many good books suffer neglect through the inefficiency of their beginnings!Marginalia (United States Magazine and Democratic Review, November 1844)

A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Poetic Principle Quotes)
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A poem deserves its title only inasmuch as it excites, by elevating the soul.The Poetic Principle (Southern Literary Messenger, December 1848)

Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem. - Edgar Allan Poe (The Philosophy of Composition Quotes)
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Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem.The Philosophy of Composition (Graham's Magazine, April 1846)

Man's real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so. - Edgar Allan Poe (Marginalia Quotes)
30

Man’s real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.Marginalia (United States Magazine and Democratic Review, December 1844)

Bonus

1

The poem may be said to have its beginning – at the end, where all works of art should begin.The Philosophy of Composition (Graham's Magazine, April 1846)

2

Mot in knowledge is happiness, but in the acquisition of knowledge! In for ever knowing, we are for ever blessed; but to know all were the curse of a fiend.The Power of Words (Democratic Review, June 1845), The works of Edgar Allan Poe (1903), Volume 4, Page 324

3

Believe nothing you hear, and only one-half that you see.The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether (Graham's Magazine, November 1845), The works of Edgar Allan Poe (1903), Volume 4, Page 55

4

Years of love have been forgot, in the fever of a minute.To M- (1829), The works of Edgar Allan Poe (1903), Volume 5, Page 342

5

Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed.Mesmeric Revelation (Columbian Magazine, August 1844), The works of Edgar Allan Poe (1903), Volume 2, Page 114

Misattributed

1

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination and poetry!Poe conversation with Mr. William Barton, in Edgar Allan Poe by John Alexander Joyce (1901) (More info)

2

A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.John Casey (More info)

3

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.Ted Olson (More info)

4

The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls.@Edgar_Allan_Poe (More info)

5

If a poem hasn’t ripped apart your soul; you haven’t experienced poetry.@Edgar_Allan_Poe (More info)