What's the point of the sandy beach in "A Dream Within a Dream"?
The main thrust of Edgar Allan Poe's poem ["A Dream Within a Dream"](https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52829/a-dream-within-a-dream) concerns the existential angst of the narrator, and his fear that "all that we see or seem" is nothing but "a dream within a dream". But much of the second stanza dwells instead on a sandy beach: > I stand amid the roar Of a surf-tormented shore, And I hold within my hand Grains of the golden sand — How few! yet how they creep Through my fingers to the deep, While I weep — while I weep! O God! Can I not grasp Them with a tighter clasp? O God! can I not save *One* from the pitiless wave? **What is the purpose of these lines, and how do they fit into the poem as a whole?** Do the sand and the surf have some deep symbolic meaning?