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Spirits of the Dead: Tales and Poems
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Spirits of the Dead: Tales and Poems

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  630 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Edgar Allan Poe's tales and poems draw the reader into an unsettling world of mystery and fear.

In 'The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether', 'A Predicament', 'The Angel of the Odd' and other stories, characters are caught up in macabre situations, often with horrifying results. The poems are full of melancholic beauty whether in the disturbing images of death and ev
Paperback, Penguin Popular Classics, 278 pages
Published 1997 by Penguin Books Ltd
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It seems strange to me that despite being famous for his short stories and detective fiction, that Poe always considered himself a poet. Spirits of the Dead is a collection of such poetry, along with some of Poe's lesser known short stories. Poe's deservedly famous The Raven, The Conqueror Worm and several renderings of Lenore are present, but the rest of the works seem to be characterised by a tedious profusion of obscure references and a deliberatly over bizarre and alienating manner. An odd, ...more
Jennifer B.
Like most, I only knew Poe for his poems and creepy short stories. I had never seen his ironic, satirical side. I read this book to get into the creepy spirit of Halloween. There weren't many creepy tales in it, but it was interesting.
I've read very little of Edgar Allan Poe so far, but I've read the poem "The Valley of Unrest" and how he links death with the life surrounding the grave, is beautiful. Once again, I can't explain clearly what fascinates me, but like Wilde once said: "Art is not morbid. Art can express everything" - Literature, a form of art, in which death can be expressed, and Poe does it brilliantly.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This is the book with my favorite poem in it: The Sleeper. The typing is type-writer-like and the thickness of the letters changes all the time, but it's not about the layout - but the content. And it has some pretty cool poems and short stories in it. (:
John Yelverton
I'm not really sure why this poem is called "Spirits of the Dead", because it certainly does not overtly seem to be what the poem is about.
Bartolomeu De Bensafrim

The Haunted Palace

In the greenest of our valleys
By good angels tenanted,
Once a fair and stately palace—
Radiant palace—reared its head.
In the monarch Thought’s dominion,
It stood there!
Never seraph spread a pinion
Over fabric half so fair!

Banners yellow, glorious, golden,
On its roof did float and flow
(This—all this—was in the olden
Time long ago)
And every gentle air that dallied,
In that sweet day,
Along the ramparts plumed and pallid,
A wingèd odor went away.

Wanderers in that happy val
Yair Ben-Zvi
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forever cursed to the bowels of under appreciation, Edgar Allan Poe stands in the literary world very much, as it seems, as he did in life, alone.

Though not of all of his works in this volume reach the ecstatic brilliance of "The Raven" or "Loss of Breath" or "Dream within a Dream" and some of it can be downright bad, this does nothing to alter the beauty of Poe's Gothic visions and macabre notions about people, the world, and his own understandings of how he perceived everything around him.

As s
Dec 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has a short biography of Poe's life at the start and then consists of poetry, an extract of a play "Politian" and ends with a selection of his short stories. The poetry is arranged by the years it was published and sometimes the same poem comes up twice because it was published more than once.
I would have liked to know more about Poe's life but the poetry itself is very good. His use of words and imagery is amazing. No wonder the symbolist art movement drew inspiration from him. As for
Sep 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I shall consider this finished for now. I had a hard time getting through the prose.

But the poetry (those that I somewhat understood, anyway) was lovely. I think it helped that Edgar Allan Poe was a storyteller. (I tend to understand things better when it is told as a story.) I remember feeling... quite amazed. Not swept away yet, because admittedly I still don't understand a lot of poetry, but the use of language... is interesting.

If you're a Literature student, you'd probably appreciate this b
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a niiice boookkkk..
Although we have all probably read so many of the contents in middle and high school but still i love this book so muchh
Poe is such a great writer and poet, his writing is very beautiful.. I get into this book whenever i feel like reading something nice and gloomy, the mood of his writings is dark but yet beautiful..
It's a continuous read for me, never gets boring or old
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prose-and-poetry
Such a lovely find this book was. You can’t go wrong with it if you are a Poe devotee. It contains most of his famous work and a lot of short poems before he hit fame.I also was amazed at the amount of religious references in his work. I mean most people might call him an atheist, but I think he was skeptic like most of us.

This book is a souvenir for Poe fans and a revelation for his new admirers!
Edgar Allan Poe...what to say about him?So extrange, so "crazy", so immaginative, so...
The thing I like the most: the style;it is not a "common" horror, it is really special.
The worse thing: he often use different accents or different languages which sometimes get difficult to understand.
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poe is ever fascinating, even when his writing seems unfinshed, even when there is something of his genious missing ( as is it at times in this book). However, Poe's is always a treat to read. Unlike some other famous authors, Poe's less known stuff does not deserve to be less known.
Rana Mostafa
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a poetic gem this book was. I promptly had my nose in the book insisting on finishing it. It's the kind of book that virtually breathes into you, takes you to a whole new level of perfect imagination and touches your soul.
Now I get all the fuss about Poe.
Jan 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to be honest, I got it while still obsessed with The Raven which I then learned off by heart, but once I'd gotten over all that, there's some very good poetry in the compilation. -I haven't made it fully through a story yet though..
Rodolfo Franco
Jan 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i love Edgar Allan Poe, The Macabre
Mouhssine Asmer
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
Only Sir Edgar Allan Poe-The Master of The Macabre- can write such hunting, grisly and ghastly poems and stories.
Read this book and delve into the haunted realms of Edgar Allan Poe.
Ashikin Gani
Feb 24, 2010 rated it liked it
somestimes it makes my head dizzy, but I enjoy reading Poe's masterpiece.
vicky ✨
Poe's fascinating poems (my favourites are "Alone" and "Annabel Lee") and wonderfully weird short stories were fun to read.
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
My review of the collection can be read at
3 stars for the poems.
Diddly squat for the tales.
My god, they were bad.
OK, there was one good one.
But still. Gah.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The guy's responsible for my name, he's morbid, and he's one of the few famous poets whose poems actually rhyme (which, I think poems were meant to sound!). And his yarns aren't bad either. :)
Nicole Spendlove
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The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of ...more
More about Edgar Allan Poe...
“Thy soul shall find itself alone
’Mid dark thoughts of the gray tombstone—
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee—and their will
Shall overshadow thee: be still. [...]”
More quotes…