Text: Edgar Allan Poe, “Sonnet — Silence” (Text-F), The Raven and Other Poems (1845), p. 26


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[page 26:]

SONNET — SILENCE.

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THERE are some qualities — some incorporate things,

That have a double life, which thus is made

A type of that twin entity which springs

From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.

There is a two-fold Silence — sea and shore —

Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,

Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces,

Some human memories and tearful lore,

Render him terrorless: his name’s “No More.”

He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!

No power hath he of evil in himself;

But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)

Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,

That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod

No foot of man,) commend thyself to God!


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Notes:

Poe uses the phrase “No More” in several other poems. What is interesting here is that it is used as a name, and thus foreshadows the suggestion that the title bird in “The Raven” bears the dread name of “Nevermore.”


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[S:1 - RAOP, 1845 (fac, 1969)] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Poems - Sonnet — Silence (Text-F)