50 best Edgar Allan Poe quotes for fans of The Fall of the House of Usher

The Fall of the House of Usher. Carla Gugino as Verna in episode 102 of The Fall of the House of Usher. Cr. Eike Schroter/Netflix © 2023
The Fall of the House of Usher. Carla Gugino as Verna in episode 102 of The Fall of the House of Usher. Cr. Eike Schroter/Netflix © 2023 /

Edgar Allan Poe is the name of the game right now thanks to the recent release of Mike Flanagan’s acclaimed series The Fall of the House of Usher, which is based on several of Poe’s most iconic works, including stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Raven,” “Annabel Lee,” and much more.

The show marks Flanagan’s last project with Netflix, as the filmmaker is moving onto to Amazon with a new production deal there, but at least he went on a high note. The Fall of the House of Usher is being praised as one of his best television shows, with many considering it to be right up there with The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass.

The Fall of the House of Usher isn’t the first Poe-related project Netflix has released this year, either. It’d be easy to forget since it has almost been a full year since it released, but Netflix kicked off 2023 with the Netflix Original film, The Pale Blue Eye, a mystery-thriller based on Louis Bayard’s 2006 novel featuring Harry Potter alum Harry Melling as the iconic poet.

Poe features in The Pale Blue Eye as a military cadet who assists with the murder investigation into one of his fellow cadets. Christian Bale also stars.

In real life, Poe actually did serve in the military, attaining the rank of Sergeant Major after two years before quitting the army to pursue an opening at the military academy in West Point, New York. Otherwise, The Pale Blue Eye is a fictional tale and Bayard’s version of Poe merely takes inspiration from the real man’s life story.

For those interested in refreshing their memory on some of Poe’s best works, the following are some of our favorite quotes and passages from the poet’s many stories, poems, and essays, categorized for your convenience.

Edgar Allan Poe quotes about love

1. “That years of love have been forgot / In the fever of a minute” – from “To M— (I heed not)”

2. “But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee.” – from “Annabel Lee”

3. “We grew in age—and love—together, / Roaming the forest, and the wild; / My breast her shield in wintry weather— / And, when the friendly sunshine smil’d, / And she would mark the opening skies, / I saw no Heaven—but in her eyes” – from “Tamerlane”

4. “Because it was my crime to have no one on Earth who cared for me, or loved me” – from a letter

5. “You have both tender hearts — and you will always have the reflection that my agony is more than I can bear — that you have driven me to the grave — for love like mine can never be gotten over” – Letter to Mrs. Maria Clemm and Miss Virginia Clemm

6. “Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears. Melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all the poetical tones.” – from “The Philosophy of Composition”

Miscellaneous Edgar Allan Poe quotes

7.“I make no exception, even in Dante’s favor: — the only thing well said of Purgatory, is that a man may go farther and fare worse.” – from marginalia

8. “You will observe that the stories told are all about money-seekers, not about money-finders.” – from “The Gold-Bug”

9. “A man of genius, if not permitted to choose his own subject, will do worse, in letters, than if he had talents none at all.” – from marginalia

10. “It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.” – from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

11. “How many good books suffer neglect through the inefficiency of their beginnings!” – from marginalia

12.“I positively felt a wish to explore its depths, even at the sacrifice I was going to make; and my principal grief was that I should never be able to tell my old companions on shore about the mysteries I should see.” – from “A Descent into the Maelstrom”

13. “A striking similitude between the brother and sister now first arrested my attention; and Usher, divining, perhaps, my thoughts, murmured out some few words from which I learned that the deceased and himself had been twins, and that sympathies of a scarcely intelligible nature had always existed between them.” – from “The Fall of the House of Usher”

14. “The days have never been when thou couldst love me—but her whom in life thou didst abhor, in death thou shalt adore.” – from “Morella”

15. “To die laughing must be the most glorious of all glorious deaths!” – from “The Assignation”

16. “Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence — whether much that is glorious — whether all that is profound — does not spring from disease of thought — from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.” – from “Eleonora”

Handwritten text of ‘The Angel Face,’ a short verse by writer Edgar Allan Poe, circa 1848. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Handwritten text of ‘The Angel Face,’ a short verse by writer Edgar Allan Poe, circa 1848. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) /

Haunting Edgar Allan Poe quotes

17. “I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.” – from a letter to George W. Eveleth

18. “In delirium—no! In a swoon—no! In death—no! even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no immortality for man.” – from “The Pit and the Pendulum”

19. “And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart.” – from “The Tell-Tale Heart”

20. “There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart–an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it–I paused to think–what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher?” – from “The Fall of the House of Usher”

21. “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, ‘Lenore?'” – from “The Raven”

22. “Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” – from from The Narrative of Arthur Gordyn Pym

23. “Oh how powerless is the pen to express such feelings as now consume me! May the God of Heaven protect you until I clasp you to my heart” – from a letter to Sarah H. Whitman

24. “There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick – on account of the dampness of the catacombs.” – from “The Cask of Amontillado”

25. “When it most closely allies itself to Beauty: the death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world — and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.” – from “The Philosophy of Composition”

26. “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in waking, to find that they have been upon the verge of the great secret.” – from “Eleonora”

27. “Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris.” – from “The Cask of Amontillado”

Inspirational quotes from Edgar Allan Poe

28. “There are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction. These the mere romanticist must eschew, if he do not wish to offend, or to disgust.” – from “The Premature Burial”

29. “You are not wrong, who deem / That my days have been a dream;” – from “A Dream Within a Dream”

30. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.” – from “The Raven”

31. “Depend upon it, after all, Thomas, Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man. For my own part, there is no seducing me from the path.” – from a letter to Frederick W. Thomas

32. “The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” – from “The Premature Burial”

33. “Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore / Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore! / Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.'” – from “The Raven”

34. “All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream” – from “A Dream Within a Dream”

35. “We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation – to make a point – than to further the cause of truth.” – from “The Mystery of Marie Roget”

36. “The day is done, and the darkness / Falls from the wings of Night, / As a feather is wafted downward / From an Eagle in his flight.” – from “The Poetic Principle”

37. “Even in the grave all is not lost. Else there is no immortality for man.” – from “The Pit and the Pendulum”

38. “You are aware of the great barrier in the path of an American writer. He is read, if at all, in preference to the combined and established wit of the world. I say established; for it is with literature as with law or empire — an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.” – from “Letter to B”

39. “Then silence, and stillness, and night were the universe.” – from “The Pit and the Pendulum”

More Edgar Allan Poe quotes

40. “Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities—that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.” – from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

41. “All in vain; because Death, in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him, and enveloped the victim.” – from “The Tell-Tale Heart”

42. “It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain; but once conceived, it haunted me day and night.” – from “The Tell-Tale Heart”

43. “For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams” – from “Annabel Lee”

44. “There are few persons who have not, at some period of their lives, amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained.” – from “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

45. “Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning” – from “The Raven”

46. “For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them.” – from “The Cask of Amontillado”

47. “And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.” – from “The Masque of the Red Death

48. “Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good of within me succumbed.” – from “The Black Cat”

49. “This action, by an animal which I had thought still loved me, made me angry beyond reason. My soul seemed to fly from my body. I took a small knife out of my coat and opened it. Then I took the poor animal by the neck and with one quick movement I cut out one of its fear-filled eyes!” – from “The Black Cat”

50. “I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country, and at length found myself, as the shades of evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher.” – from “The Fall of the House of Usher”

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