This genre talks about the distinct possibilities of another world beyond the physical world. This might be the world of unimaginable possibilities. This might be the world of visions. This might be the world of enlightened glimpses. This might seem to be a world of dreams. And this world seems more real than the real world. It is the world where perceptions transform. It is the world where meanings transform. It comes across as a world where lives seem to change forever.
Dreams have been a very important topic of expression in poetry since ages to the contemporary times. There was a striking novelty about dream poetry of those times. The poetry reverberated with dream sequences that revealed an affinity with the traditional and narrative medieval form. Medieval and Renaissance poetry and drama are some of the best resources we have in determining the importance dreams had in pre-Freudian society. In the poems belonging to the genre, speakers fall into variously inspired slumbers and so discover a new perspective on a breadth of literary, social, and political issues. (Medieval Dream Visions,
The astounding representation of dreams in the 14th century poem Pearl is marvelous. It is an anonymous poem about human loss. It is a gem of literary art and spiritual devotion. In the words of one prominent scholar it is, 'the most highly wrought and intricately constructed poem in Middle English' (Bishop 27). The narration of a concrete tragedy like death of a loved one has been done by using imagery and expressions, which range from the mundane to the metaphysical. The entire experience of the dreamer is quite overwhelming. The representation of dreams in this poem comes across as something more than real. The death of a baby girl and the ensuing grief is the major plot. However, the shattering of the dream (that had brightened the dreamer's life for sometime and the consequent spiritual transformation) brings a sense of repeated loss. There is a sense of persisting sorrow throughout the poem that makes the dream visions seem so real.
Pearl may be divided into three parts. The introduction takes the reader into the world of grief and longing, the dialogue between the main characters weaves the emotions and connotations in the story and the narrator's spiritual awakening laces his sorrow with a silver lining, and a ray of optimism surrounds the narrative. This transformation happens in the dream sequence where the narrator meets his lost 'Pearl', apparently his little daughter who was not even two years young. Alliteration abounds the narrative. This not only gives a rhythm to the poem, but also brings in a sense of repetition of feelings - loss, grief, hope and loss. The arrangement is superb and yet so subtle. There are words and that words are so inexpressive. The reader can empathise so well with the inexpressibility of the mortal speaker. The poem deals with a father's loss of his daughter who died at a very young age.When the father confronts his daughter in a dream sequence where she is in heaven, she tells him that she has been crowned queen there.The father is in a state of utter surprise and cannot believe that his daughter, who was not even two years of age could be made the queen of Heaven. The father's contention is that there is religious