#97 Walking Alone
In 1829, the wonderful and nearly mythic Edgar Allan Poe penned a poem describing his feelings of uniqueness and aloneness. He knew, early on in life, that he was different from others, created and shaped in a different mold. History, of course, proved he was right.
Over a century and half later, Michael Anderson read those words. He recognized a Golden Truth in Poe's poem, 'Alone,' and it lit a deep-felt sense of comradeship ironically based on shared aloneness. It also provoked a response, the elegantly simple, sweetly flowing words you are about to read.
Poe and Anderson are gifted writers. Using words and rhythms, and uniquely universal imagery, they are able to conveny both meaning and feeling. In this, perhaps, they are unusual. Even alone. But the Truth they share with their talents is far less unique. Poe was different, and history remembers him for his differences. Maybe, a hundred and fifty from now, Anderson will be similarly remembered. But each of us, even if unremembered by history, is nonetheless equally unique. Each of us is born and shaped in a 'world not the same,' and each of us is unable and maybe unwilling to bring our passions 'from a common spring.'
Each of us, in the end, is Alone.
This poem originally was published in Poems on Life
From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were- I have not seen
As others saw- I could not bring
My passions from a common spring-
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow- I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone-
And all I lov'd- I lov'd alone-
Then- in my childhood- in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From ev'ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still-
From the torrent, or the fountain-
From the red cliff of the mountain-
From the sun that 'round me roll'd
In its autumn tint of gold-
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by-
From the thunder, and the storm-
And the cloud that took the form
(When all the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.
Response to: "Alone", by Edgar Allan Poe.
I, too, was born of a world not the same,
Amongst white snow, a raindrops' shame.
In life's garden, a dormant seed.
A heart held of dissimilar need.
I, too, was awed by lightning's flash,
Embering in mind even after the crash.
Followed closely by silent rain,
Blood-red, falling from the sky in vain.
The wind chimed and the earth shook from thunder,
And my mind was but befixed to wonder;
How could I stand amidst this storm,
Seek shelter not, yet still seem warm?
But I, too, take my sorrow at a site-
Other souls would nonchalantly slight.
And I, too, have felt the need for love,
But could only love that need which I dreamt of.
And as I peered deep through the skies,
The clouds grew black to shut my eyes.
The demon that came in your view,
Now's taken from me what he took from you.
In the garden the seed has sprang,
A nameless child unearths the pang.
Felt for the flower, both eyes in close.
Took twenty thorns to touch the rose.
A wondering mind looked to the sky,
So beautiful it had to die.
Laid it to rest upon the stone,
And turned away a man full grown.
Singing the same song at a different tone,
In thoughts, destined to die, unknown.
Born unto a world not of our own,
We walked together, walking alone.