Nightmares of Uncertainty

Nightmares of Uncertainty

A Poem by Rick Puetter
"

…Is all that we see or seem / But a dream within a dream?... --- Edgar Allen Poe

"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






Sunrise over the golf course of Oulton Hall Hotel.  © Copyright Steve F. and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.  The original image can be found at http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2163718.

 

Dear Readers,

 

This poem was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “A Dream Within a Dream”.  According to Wikipedia, the poem “reflects Poe's feelings about his life at the time, dramatizing his confusion in watching the important things in his life slip away.  Realizing he cannot hold onto even one grain of sand leads to his final question that all things are a dream.”  This is a natural stepping off point for remembering the uncertainties we all feel in life and asking the question of how can we rise above the paralysis of uncertainty and fear.

 

This poem is a co-write of

 

            Sheila Kline (http://www.writerscafe.org/wvhillbilly47) &

            Rick Puetter (http://www.writerscafe.org/rpuetter)


 

 

Nightmares of Uncertainty

 

     “…Is all that we see or seem / But a dream within a dream?...”

 

                           --- Edgar Allen Poe

 

 

Life seems a dream within a dream--

A puzzle past all mortal schemes.

Man's tears flow free 'neath troubled brow,

For we know not Life's whys or hows.

As judgment fails in dark of night,

We chart bold plans, but lack insight.

Will knowledge come--keep dark at bay?

Or blindness rule and hold full sway!

 

Life's truth is found within our dreams,

But paths get lost--in pain, soul screams.

As Man's mind seeks Life's distant shores,

The clock ticks on--soul cries for more.

Yet sand in glass drains lower still--

And spirit dies--such bitter pill!

The reason for nightmares is clear--

We lack the strength to conquer fear!

 

The Future? Well, this, too, a dream!

What shores we'll reach remains unseen.

Will Man's hopes fall in mockery?

Man's spirit left in poverty?

As cross roads up ahead large loom,

We're so uncertain, we're consumed.

Through dreams mind slides on scales like snake

Oh sanity, don't fail, don't shake!

 

And as mind weaves through shadows deep,

I pray these nightmares l'll not keep.

Let not this suffering be in vain,

Nor crippling doubt in mind remain.

So 'bout myself I'll wrap strong shield

And force of will as bright sword wield!

I'll march with strength through all my doubts,

And through these dreams this bold cry shout:

 

I am but Man, yet here I stand

Now fears be gone!  I vow!  Command!

 

 

 

©2011 by Sheila Kline and Richard Puetter, each and individually

All rights reserved

© 2013 Rick Puetter


Author's Note

Rick Puetter
I want to thank Sheila Kline, my coauthor, for her creative spark and inspiring passion in the writing of this poem. Thank you, Sheila!

And a note for Dinesh,

Dear Dinesh,

We are normally a big fan of your reviews. You seem to have great insight into writing. But here we must depart, and truly we are a bit perplexed. You say "A thing I note is, the flow (Cleanliness of meter) is absent here, which was a major factor in "A dream within a dream".

We are a bit surprised at this statement because Poe's poem is notably absent of consistent meter. His poem almost disregards meter, while ours concentrates on it. That is not to say our poem is better than Poe's. Quite the contrary, we are truly in homage of Poe's poem. But let's recognize what Poe's poem is. It is genius, but Poe was not concerned with smooth meter, like we were. Our meter is 8 syllable iambic terameter throughout. Poe's poem has even and odd syllable count, randomly throughout the poem. So while we will not challenge the superiority of Poe's words over our own, We'll challenge the statement that Poe's meter is consistent.

Below we give Poe's syllable count. It is not consistent or smooth--not necessarily needed for a masterful poem. But certainly not given to "smooth" or "consistent" meter. And the accent scheme necessarily varies since the syllable count is not consistent.

Rick and Sheila

Here is Poe's poem with syllable count. We can give the accent scheme also, if that is needed, but the syllable count itself shows that Poe is not principally concerned with "smooth" meter, but is more engaged with meaning.

A Dream Within A Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow! (7)
And, in parting from you now, (7)
Thus much let me avow- (6)
You are not wrong, who deem (6)
That my days have been a dream; (7)
Yet if hope has flown away (7)
In a night, or in a day, (7)
In a vision, or in none, (7)
Is it therefore the less gone? (7)
All that we see or seem (6)
Is but a dream within a dream. (8)

I stand amid the roar (6)
Of a surf-tormented shore, (7)
And I hold within my hand (7)
Grains of the golden sand- (6)
How few! yet how they creep (6)
Through my fingers to the deep, (7)
While I weep- while I weep! (6)
O God! can I not grasp (6)
Them with a tighter clasp? (6)
O God! can I not save (6)
One from the pitiless wave? (7)
Is all that we see or seem (7)
But a dream within a dream? (7)

My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Sir, once i read a story about a man who wanted to escape away from reality and the harshness of life and how he used to imagine about third level of the grand central station from where he used to escape to his old town ..A place back during 1920's - peaceful and full of togetherness.... it was a mental condition that made his mind wander and dream about better things in life... What I learnt from this is contrasting and that we all dream and many times those may be nightmares in sleep or in reality but we must not be scared to face them...the last line explains it all....
for me it was a kind of poem i'd like to read.... excellent work :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

My words would be redundant! Reflect on the words below to know how my thoughts do flow!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I think Marie is right in saying that your 8 syllable lines scan rather than give a consistent metre. Sometimes the iambic terameter form can seem a bit contrived. But your poem, when read aloud is very effective. And an uplifting message

Posted 6 Years Ago


I read this with the same narration at the end of the Moody Blue's song "Knights in White Satin", it screamed the same intensity. I like this a lot

Posted 6 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Sir, once i read a story about a man who wanted to escape away from reality and the harshness of life and how he used to imagine about third level of the grand central station from where he used to escape to his old town ..A place back during 1920's - peaceful and full of togetherness.... it was a mental condition that made his mind wander and dream about better things in life... What I learnt from this is contrasting and that we all dream and many times those may be nightmares in sleep or in reality but we must not be scared to face them...the last line explains it all....
for me it was a kind of poem i'd like to read.... excellent work :)

Posted 8 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

kI counted your syllables and sure enough you have 8 per line. I do not call this "consistant meter" but "scanning", which plays a bit part in my own verse.
Truth remains a gleam
Shining in my dream

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Rick Puetter

7 Years Ago

Hi Marie,

Oh my! I just saw your review, and after a year of time has passed. Oh well, .. read more
Mortality looms. This is a fantastic homage to Poe's poem. You should both be very proud...what a wonderful collaboration. You both have taken the reader on a journey, almost a poetic hopeless yet relentless beating of one's head on a wall for there's nothing to be changed...time tics on and the future is not immune.

You wrote, I think my favorite part, a wonderful opening...wasting no time on the purpose of this piece:

Life seems a dream within a dream--
A puzzle past all mortal schemes.
Man's tears flow free 'neath troubled brow,
For we know not Life's whys or hows.

The last two lines are stunning, as you stand firm in your vow to go on...what empowerment...even if it does no good in the inevitable outcome of death...for man is ever mortal.

Truly well done to two of my favorite writers!!
Barbara

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This is a very good poem. Great flow throughout and quite the tribute to Poe. Well done.

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Congratulations on winning the "Whatta Dreamer" award in the contest!

This was the first submission that I read, and I fell in love immediately. The rhythm was absolutely enchanting, and the complex, intellectual wording captured me from the outset. Overall, this is a beautiful piece and I'm happy to have come across it.

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I thought you both did a remarkable job of piecing together this wonderful poem. I've always been a fan of Poe's writing and this is superb work.

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

HOLY CRAP! You are awesome and worthy of appraisal! I enjoy your writings so far, rock on man!

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

3987 Views
37 Reviews
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on February 5, 2011
Last Updated on May 3, 2013
Tags: nightmares, uncertainty, doubt, bravery, Edgar Allen Poe

Author

Rick Puetter
Rick Puetter

San Diego, CA



About
So what's the most important thing to say about myself? I guess the overarching aspect of my personality is that I am a scientist, an astrophysicist to be precise. Not that I am touting science.. more..

Writing