Poetry The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe I


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The Bells by Edgar Allen Poe
I. Hear the sledges with the bells -

Silver bells!

What a world of merriment their melody foretells!

How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, in the icy air of night!

While the stars that oversprinkle


ll the heavens, seem to twinkle

With a crystalline delight;

eeping time, time, time, in a sort of Runic rhyme,


o the tintinnabulation that so musically wells

From the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells -

From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
II. Hear the mellow wedding bells -

Golden bells!

What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!


hrough the balmy air of night

How they ring out their delight! -

From the molten-golden notes,


nd all in tune,

What a liquid ditty floats

To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats

On the moon!


h, from out the sounding cells,

What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!

pretty sound
ow it swells! How it dwells


n the Future! - how it tells

Of the rapture that impels

To the swinging and the ringing of the bells, bells, bells –

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells -

To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

Hear the loud alarum bells -

Brazen bells!

What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!

In the startled ear of night

How they scream out their affright!


oo much horrified to speak, they can only shriek, shriek,

Out of tune,

In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,


n a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,

Leaping higher, higher, higher, with a desperate desire,



nd a resolute endeavor

Now - now to sit, or never,

By the side of the pale-faced moon.

Oh, the bells, bells, bells! What a tale their terror tells


f despair!

How they clang, and clash and roar!

What a horror they outpour on the bosom of the palpitating air!

Yet the ear, it fully knows, by the twanging, and the clanging,


ow the danger ebbs and flows;

Yet the ear distinctly tells, in the jangling, and the wrangling,

How the danger sinks and swells,

By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells -

Of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells -

In the clamor and the clanging of the bells!

music of only 1 instrument

IV. Hear the tolling of the bells -

Iron bells!

What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!

In the silence of the night, how we shiver with affright

At the melancholy menace of their tone!

For every sound that floats

From the rust within their throats

Is a groan.


nd the people - ah, the people -


repetitive sound
hey that dwell up in the steeple,

All alone,

And who, tolling, tolling, tolling, in that muffled monotone,

Feel a glory in so rolling on the human heart a stone -

They are neither man nor woman -

They are neither brute nor human -

They are Ghouls: -


nd their king it is who tolls: -

And he rolls, rolls, rolls,

Rolls a paean from the bells!

And his merry bosom swells with the paean of the bells!

And he dances, and he yells;

Keeping time, time, time, in a sort of Runic rhyme,

o the paean of the bells: -

Of the bells:

Keeping time, time, time in a sort of Runic rhyme,

To the throbbing of the bells -

rings the bells

f the bells, bells, bells: -

To the sobbing of the bells: -

Keeping time, time, time, as he knells, knells, knells,

In a happy Runic rhyme,

To the rolling of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells -

To the tolling of the bells -

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, -

To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

ALPHAPOEM: Pick a topic, usually a funny one (“Mr. Krueger”), and write a line about it that ends in a word that’s easy to rhyme with (“stank”). Then go through the alphabet and see what rhymes with that word (“ank, bank, blank, brank, cank, chank, clank, crank…”). Then be creative and see how you can write a line about the topic that ends in that word. If you find you’ve picked a hard-to-rhyme-with word (“awful”), come up with a different first line.
Come up with one as a class based on the line “This is a poem about school!”.

LIMERICK: Tells a short, funny story. The syllables fall into groups of 3, for a “fiddley-diddley-dee” rhythm. Has 2 long lines, 2 short lines, and 1 more long line, with an AABBA rhyme-scheme:
Faker! by Andy Krueger

There once was a student named Nick

Who tried to pretend he was sick.

When his mom brought him syrup

That tasted like throw-up,

He ran for the bus mighty quick!

BALLAD: Ballads are meant to be sung, either to a melody you make up (if you’re highly musical) or to an existing melody. To be sung, the lines must be rhythmic: in the poem below, most lines alternate between stressed and unstressed syllables: “singing sweetly and completely songs of pleasure and of love”; this is like a downbeat and an upbeat. Lines are usually grouped into stanzas of 4 lines with rhyme-scheme AABB or ABAB. Can have any mood (often sad) and any theme (often about love).

I Live Not Where I Love, traditional

Note: this poem has a female persona (narrator). In the tradition of Irish songs, men are allowed to sing women’s parts and vice versa, much like men and women would act each other’s parts in Shakespeare’s time. So feel free to sing along, whoever you are!
Come, all ye [you] maids [girls] that live at a distance,

many a mile from off [away from] your swain [young man],

Come and assist me this very moment for to pass away some time

Singing sweetly and completely songs of pleasure and of love,

For me [my] heart is with him altogether, though I live not where I love.

Hey other girls in long-distance relationships,

Help me pass some time

Singing love-songs,

For I love him, even though I don’t live near him.
When I sleep, I dream about him; when I wake, I take no rest,

Every moment thinking of him, my heart affixed [stuck] in his breast,

And though far distance may be of assistance

from my mind his love to remove [to remove his love from my mind],

Still me heart is with him altogether, though I live not where I love.

When I sleep, I dream about him, and it’s the same when I’m awake,

Thinking of him all the time, like my heart is connected to his heart.

You might think being so far away would help me forget him,

But I love him, even though I don’t live near him.

All the world shall be of one religion – all living things shall cease to die,

If ever I should prove false to my jewel [my boyfriend] or in any way his love deny [reject his love].

O the world shall change and be most strange if ever I inconstant prove [if I turn out to be unfaithful],

For me heart is with him altogether, though I live not where I love.

Everyone would have to convert to one religion and everything would have to stop dying

Before I’d lie to him or dump him.

The world would have to get very strange to make me cheat on him,

For I love him, even though I don’t live near him.
So farewell lads [boys], and farewell lasses [girls]. Now I think I’ve made my choice:

I will away [go away] to yonder [that] mountain where I think I hear his voice,

And if he should call, o I will follow round the world, though ’tis [it is] so wide,

For me heart is with him altogether, though I live not where I love.

So goodbye, guys and gals. I’ve made my decision:

I’m going away to that mountain where I hear his voice.

I’ll follow him all around the world if necessary,

For I love him, even though I don’t live near him.

HAIKU: Presents a visual or auditory image, usually of a peaceful, beautiful natural scene. 5 syllables + 7 syllables + 5 syllables.

Quiet Pond, adaptation of Old Pond by Basho

Quiet, sunny pond.

From the tall grass a frog leaps.

Splashing water-sound.

FRAGMENT POEM: Grammarians, cover your ears! Pick a topic, usually one you feel real emotion about (“friendship”). Then write short lines about it that capture your emotion. Try to boil the lines (“I was surrounded by friends.”) down to their emotional core (“Friends.”). Include images for the eyes, ears, and other senses. Give the last line a punch: a surprising or intense statement of the poem’s message.

Untitled by Andy Krueger

A crackling fire

In a cabin

On a mountain.

Friends. Talk.

Coziness, comfort.

Apple cider.

Night sounds.

Cool. Autumn.

A book. My friends are reading too.

Every once in a while we share passages.

We talk about life.

In bed, under covers, cold air.

Read some more.


Door open, theirs open too.

I can hear them rustle.

I’m not alone.
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