While most people associate the word “Romantic” with hearts, chocolate, and Valentine’s Day, but when it comes to 19th century literature and thinking, “Romance” has much darker connotations. There’s nothing quite like madness, obsession, and the English Moors to get you and your boo in the mood for the spookiest day of the year!
1) “A Dream within a Dream” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I stand amid the roar / Of a surf-tormented shore, / And I hold within my hand/ Grains of the golden sand — / How few! yet how they creep / Through my fingers to the deep, / While I weep – while I weep! / O God! can I not grasp / Them with a tighter clasp? / O God? can I not save / One from the pitiless wave? / Is all that we see or seen / But a dream within a dream?”
This quote serves to correct those who believe the final line of this poem has some sort of ethereal or dreamy connotations. Nope! This poem is fully about a man having an existential crisis on a beach. With finals rapidly approaching, all I can say is #Mood.
2) “For Annie” – Edgar Allan Poe
“And ah! let it never / Be foolishly said / That my room it is gloomy / And narrow my bed; / For man never slept / in a different bed — / And, to sleep, you must slumber / In just such a bed”
Cough—coffin—cough. The rest of this poem is basically an exercise in how many different ways Poe could say “death” without actually using the word. This is definitely a creepy poem, especially when the Annie for whom it was written shows up in the latter half.
3) “Fall leaves Fall” – Emily Bronte
“Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.”
Here’s a poem for all of you who anxiously waited for summer to turn to fall. Though not particularly creepy, this poem is definitely applicable to the autumnal season.
4) “Requiescat” – Oscar Wilde
“Tread lightly, she is near / Under the snow, / Speak gently, she can hear / The daisies grow. / … Peace, peace; she cannot hear / Lyre or sonnet; / All my life’s buried here, / Heap earth upon it.”
Though this poem is really more sad than scary, there is definitely an undercurrent of creepy.
5) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will, which I now exert to leave you.”
Women are independent beings!?! Honestly, what could be spookier than that revelation?
6) Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
“Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you–haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!”
Just one moment of many from Cathy and Heathcliff’s super healthy, not at all concerning relationship. Does it make it better or worse that they later haunt the English Moors together?
7) “Eulalie” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Now Doubt — now Pain / Come never again, / For her soul gives me sigh for sigh, / While all day long / Shines, bright and strong, / Astarté within the sky, / And ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye — / And ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.”
I thought I would give you a taste of one of the only happy poems written by Poe. Though the poem is happy, there is definitely something creepy about the genuine happiness of the poem… Were you feeling okay Poe?
These quotes/authors are sure to bring a little extra spookiness to the final day of the year. Happy Halloween collegiates!
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