35+ Edgar Allan Poe Quotes from the Talented, Tortured Author

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

A literary genius dead before his time, Edgar Allan Poe penned many noteworthy poems on love and death. You can find plenty of Edgar Allan Poe quotes that demonstrate his poetic look on life. Almost 200 years after his death, high schools and institutions of higher education still study his work. Even The Simpsons made a parody of The Raven, his famous poem known for the line “Quoth the Raven, nevermore.”

We’ve collected some of the most poignant Edgar Allan Poe quotes for you to enjoy and ponder.

Philosophical Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

Edgar Allan Poe’s melancholy look on life and fascination with death informed his quotes on philosophy. He wonders at length about what death truly is, and whether or not we all exist within a dream.

Here are some of the more philosophical Edgar Allan Poe quotes.

“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe, Eleonora

“Invisible things are the only realities.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Even in the grave, all is not lost.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“The scariest monsters are the ones that lurk within our souls…” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“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

“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“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

“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes on Insanity and Madness

No author tackles madness quite like Edgar Allan Poe. The Tell-Tale Heart? The ultimate short story detailing the descent into madness in the first person. 

Here are some of Poe’s quotes on insanity and madness.

“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Now this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded…” 

― Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

“That which you mistake for madness is but an overacuteness of the senses.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“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

“True, nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am, but why will say that I am mad?! The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe, The Tell-Tale Heart

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes on Love

While he married his 13-year old cousin and droned on about death, Edgar Allan Poe did really have a romantic side. Here are some of his thoughts on love.

“We loved with a love that was more than love.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Deep in earth my love is lying

And I must weep alone.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“I was never really insane, except on occasions when my heart was touched.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Thy grace, thy more than beauty,

Shall be an endless theme of praise,

And love—a simple duty.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Yes, I now feel that it was then on that evening of sweet dreams—that the very first dawn of human love burst upon the icy night of my spirit. Since that period I have never seen nor heard your name without a shiver half of delight half of anxiety.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“The death then of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“We grew in age – and love – together

Roaming the forest, and the wild; 

My breast her shield in wintry weather – 

And, when the friendly sunshine smil’d, 

And she would mark the opening skies, 

I saw no Heaven – but in her eyes.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe Quotes for Creatives

Above all, Edgar Allan Poe was a writer and a poet. He lived and breathed creative work, even though he made very little from his writing in his lifetime. Here are some of his thoughts on the creative process and on art itself.

“Art is to look at, not to criticize.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.”

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” 

― Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe: With a Tortured Soul and Talented Pen

Edgar Allan Poe quotes still touch our souls today. His words have stood the test of time, as works like The Raven and The Tell-Tale Heart still influence creative work still getting produced. 

While it may seem difficult to relate to such a creative, talented, tortured individual, this light-hearted Edgar Allan Poe quote is relatable to all: “If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.” 

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