Poe, Edgar Allen. "To Helen".
The speaker addresses Helen. He celebrates Helen's beauty and compares it to the barks which carried the weary wanderer home over a perfumed sea. Helen's hyacinth hair and her classic face wander on seas, her fairy-like winds has brought the speaker home to the glory of Greece and grandeur of Rome. The speaker sees Helen standing statue-like by the window, holding and agate lamp and addresses her in the conclusion as the goddess of the soul (Psyche) from Holy-Land.
- a poem in the Romantic vein
- gives the impression as if the speaker perceived Helen as a protector of sea-travellers guarding their ways back to their native lands
- at the same time Helen might be perceived as a protector of home (standing at the window and holding the lamp) whose image accompanies the travellers on their way
- the poem also pays tribute to the classic period of ancient Greece and Rome and its mythology (Helen as a goddess)
AuthorPoe, Edgar Allen. (1809 - 1849).
Full Title"To Helen".
Poe, Edgar Allen. "To Helen". (1831). In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.