This poem appeared in Edgar Allan Poe’s first, extremely rare, collection, Tamerlane and Other Poems, published by the teenage poet in Boston in 1827. The narrator of the poem rejects “waking life” for the world of dreams, where he is in control, able to create “climes of mine imagining [...] beings that have been / Of mine own thought.” He admits that dreams can also resemble terrifying natural forces, describing one dream as a “night-wind” that “left behind / Its image on my spirit.” In his later fiction and poetry, Poe would delve fully into nightmarish realms.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849), autograph fair copy of “Dreams,” circa 1827–1828. MA 644.1. Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910.