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Edgar Allan Poe (1809—1849) American short-story writer, poet, and critic


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Poem by Poe, published in 1849. The four irregular stanzas, of varied meter, depict onomatopoetically, by means of reiterated alliteration, assonance, and phonetic imitation, four ways in which the sounds of bells influence moods: the merry tinkle of sleigh bells; the mellow, golden notes of wedding bells; the terrible shriek of alarm bells; and the solemn, melancholy roll of funeral bells. Poe's first version of this tour de force of “tintinnabulation” consisted of only 18 lines, suggested by his friend Mrs. M. L. Shew, but in its complete form the poem contains 113 lines. Its origin has been traced to a passage in Chateaubriand's Le Génie du christianisme.

Subjects: Literature.

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