Carla Gugino Reciting “The City and the Sea” Poem by Edgar Allan Poe: What it Means?


Carla Gugino’s talent knows no bounds and she has proved it once again. Her portrayal of the mysterious woman, Verna in “The Fall of the House of Usher” is beyond remarkable. She is especially highly praised for the way she recited the verses from “The City in the Sea” poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Everything about this poem becomes even more magic with her voice.

Netflix recently posted a clip from the series in which we can see Carla reciting the poem. Thousands of fans from every corner of the world are commenting on it, praising Carla’s performance in the Usher series. Some even suggest that she deserves an Emmy award for this and Edgar Allen Poe would have loved it if he was alive. We all agree to this, right?

“The City in the Sea” by Edgar Allan Poe is a poem that presents death as a god ruling over a magnificent city in the West. The West, associated with the setting sun and the tradition of death, enhances the mysterious and foreboding atmosphere. The city’s grandeur is depicted through vivid imagery, including domes, spires, and Babylonian walls. The poem suggests that the city may be more malevolent than Hell, as it reveres Death, and portrays a disturbing end of days scenario. The remote and eerie setting aligns with Gothic fiction conventions, emphasizing a self-conscious dramatization of doom that is characteristic of Poe’s work. The poem explores themes of mortality, the supernatural, and the unsettling nature of death.

Here’s the text of Edgar Allen Poe’s famous poem “The City in the Sea” (published in 1845) which sounds even more eerie with Carla Gugino reciting it.

Lo! Death has reared himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West,
Where the good and the bad and the worst and the best
Have gone to their eternal rest.
There shrines and palaces and towers
(Time-eaten towers and tremble not!)
Resemble nothing that is ours.
Around, by lifting winds forgot,
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.

No rays from the holy Heaven come down
On the long night-time of that town;
But light from out the lurid sea
Streams up the turrets silently—
Gleams up the pinnacles far and free—
Up domes—up spires—up kingly halls—
Up fanes—up Babylon-like walls—
Up shadowy long-forgotten bowers
Of sculptured ivy and stone flowers—
Up many and many a marvellous shrine
Whose wreathed friezes intertwine
The viol, the violet, and the vine.
Resignedly beneath the sky
The melancholy waters lie.
So blend the turrets and shadows there
That all seem pendulous in air,
While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol’s diamond eye—
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass—
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea—
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave—there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide—
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow—
The hours are breathing faint and low—
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

Kiran Yahya
Kiran Yahya
Kiran Yahya is a professional blogger, having 4+ years of experience with reputable online magazines, including usupdates, gistrat, newscase, and many more. She loves to cover entertainment niche, as she has a passion for watching and talking about multi-genere American, Korean, Japenese films, series, and anime. She critically analyzes everything to write unbiased reivews.

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