Edgar Allen Poe – Between Sleep and Waking

The writer Edgar Allen Poe describes the ineffable state between sleep and waking:

“There is, however, a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy, which are not thoughts, and to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt language… They arise in the soul only at its epochs of most intense tranquility – when the bodily and mental health are in perfection – and at that mere points of time where the confines of the waking world blends with those of the world of dreams. I am aware of these ‘fancies’ only when I am upon the very brink of sleep with the consciousness that I am so…”

“I realized that this condition is realized only for an inappreciable minute. … Moreover, these ‘fancies’ are accompanied by an ecstasy more voluptuous then all raptures experienced in the real world or in the world of dreams…”

Further, Poe says that he is capable, but only when conditions are proper, to induce this phenomenon. He adds that he is aware of: “the moment of fusion between waking and sleep … a passing beyond the extreme limits of consciousness, without getting lost in the domain of sleep.”

Image by ESA/Hubble, via Wikimedia Commons