30 Thoughtful Quotes from Edgar Allan Poe

Last updated on Nov 22nd, 2015

30 Thoughtful Quotes from Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer of exceptional originality with wide creative interests, poet, storyteller, essayist, literary critic, publicist and one of the most important representatives of American Romanticism.

Edgar is widely known by his dark tales of mystery that have a grim or ghastly atmosphere (Macabre). Some of his major works are narrative poem Raven and tales The Cask of Amontillado, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death, The Purloined Letter and The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Poe’s short stories are considered to be the forerunner of detective novels.

In the honor of Edgar Allan Poe, an annual award of The Mystery Writers of America is named after him.

After all, Poe’s work has left an immeasurable contribution to world literature, especially in the horror genre and criminology.


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


Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (July 1838)


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


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.'A Dream Within a Dream', The Flag of Our Union (March 31, 1849)


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. 'The Philosophy of Composition', Graham's Magazine (April 1846)


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.
(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)


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


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, New York (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.
(Also known as: Stupidity is a talent for misconception.)'The Rationale of Verse', Southern Literary Messenger (October 1848)


The death 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.'Marginalia', Southern Literary Messenger (June 1849)


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 Roget', Snowden's Ladies' Companion (November 1842)


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 on 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.'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.'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.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.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.Letter to Mr. B (July 1836)


And 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.'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.'Diddling', Philadelphia Saturday Courier (October 14, 1843)


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.'The Poetic Principle', Southern Literary Messenger (December 1848)


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.'Marginalia', Democratic Review (December 1844)