Analysis[ edit ] In "To Helen", Poe is celebrating the nurturing power of woman.
Analysis[ edit ] In "To Helen", Poe is celebrating the nurturing power of woman. Helen of Troy was "the face that launched a thousand ships" such as the "Nicean barks" of the poem. Poe also refers to Helen as Psyche, a beautiful princess who became the lover of Cupid.
Psyche represented the soul to ancient Greeks, and Poe is comparing Helen to the very soul of "regions which are Holy Land" meaning the soul of Greece from which so much of our ideals of beauty, democracy and learning sprang forth. In ancient Greek, the name Helen literally means "sunlight; bright as the dawn".
Her "agate lamp" may refer to the moment when Psyche discovered the true identity of Cupid by shining a lamp on him at night; it also refers to the enlightened knowledge of the ancient world, which still influences Western culture today.
Guy Davenport has asserted that Poe is "normally far more exact that he is given credit for": Sapphowhom Poe is imitating, had compared a woman's beauty to a fleet of ships. Scholars are not sure.
In fact, the poem is not easy to defend against the strictures of critics. We can point out that Nicaean is not, as has been charged, a pretty bit of gibberish, but the adjective for the City of Nicewhere a major shipworks was: Marc Antony's fleet was built there.
We can defend perfumed sea, which has been called silly, by noting that classical ships never left sight of land, and could smell orchards on shore, that perfumed oil was an extensive industry in classical times and that ships laden with it would smell better than your shipload of sheep.Edgar Allan Poe A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work (Paperback ed.).
New York: Checkmark Books. New York: Checkmark Books. ISBN "To Helen" is the first of two poems to carry that name written by Edgar Allan Poe. The line poem was written in honor of Jane Stanard, the mother of a childhood friend.
 It was first published in the collection Poems of Edgar A. Poe. By Edgar Allan Poe About this Poet Poe’s stature as a major figure in world literature is primarily based on his ingenious and profound short stories, poems, and critical theories, which established a highly influential rationale for the short form in both poetry and fiction.
‘To Helen’ is one of the most popular poems by Edgar Allan Poe (). It still regularly appears in some of the best poetry anthologies – though, confusingly, Poe went on to . Literature Network» Edgar Allan Poe» To Helen.
|Famous Poems||It still regularly appears in some of the best poetry anthologies — though, confusingly, Poe went on to write another poem with the same title. It was first published in in Poems of Edgar A.|
|To Helen by Edgar Allan Poe||Early life This plaque in Boston marks the approximate location  where Edgar Poe was born. Poe was then taken into the home of John Allan, a successful Scottish merchant in Richmond, Virginia who dealt in a variety of goods, including tobacco, cloth, wheat, tombstones, and slaves.|
|To Helen Poem by Edgar Allan Poe - Poem Hunter||Would you like to merge this question into it?|
To Helen. Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, The weary, way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore.
On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face. read poems by edgar allan poe On January 19, , Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Poe's father and mother, both professional actors, died before the poet was three years old, and John and Frances Allan raised him as a foster child in Richmond, Virginia.