Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Poe / The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; -vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books 
surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore,
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore,

Nameless here forevermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me -filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
" 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is, I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you."Here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into the darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals 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!"

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping, somewhat louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely, that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;-
" 'Tis the wind, and nothing more."

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven, of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas, just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven, wandering from the nightly shore.
Tell me what the lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore."
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door,
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as "Nevermore."

But the raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered; not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before-
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."
Then the bird said, "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master, whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster, till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never- nevermore."

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
 Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

Thus I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl, whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor.
"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee -- by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite- respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, O quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore!"

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! -prophet still, if bird or devil!-
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted--
On this home by horror haunted -tell me truly, I implore:
Is there--is there balm in Gilead? -tell me- tell me I implore!"
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil -prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?
Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting-
"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" 

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming.
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!


  1. “The Raven”
    When sorrow, despair and melancholy knock on the doors of a distressed mind, that is the right moment to let them come in; maybe these visitors could manifest themselves by written and turn into one of the best poems in the history of Anglophone literature.
    This is the case of “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe, a masterpiece of the Anglophone poetry that clearly portrays the tragic anguish of losing someone we love. When there is no other way to express his misfortune, Poe talks to his inner thoughts represented as an evil bird with an unpleasant appearance, letting out all his painful suffering caused by the death of Lenore, his eternal love. Grief and fear will become the main characters in this amazing poem.
    It is admirable to see how this poet takes advantage of all these sad, gloomy and harrowing feelings, creating an authentic writing style that remains up to nowadays. Therefore, I strongly recommend this poem from this skilled writer, given his talent to transmit all his fears, threnodies and insanity taken from his deepest emotions to his readers. That is a virtue that only the best writers, such as Poe, have, because it is not easy to express your feelings on an ordinary sheet of paper and turn them into a masterpiece, which will last for many years due to its extraordinary content full of sentiments.


  2. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

    “The Raven” is the most famous poetic composition of Edgar Allan Poe. It was written in 1845. It describes the agony of a man who has lost his beloved, Lenore. That agony is embodied by a black raven, which, when it is asked he answers time and time again “Nevermore”. This bird utterance means he never again will see Lenore and that he will also never again be able to fully let her go. Through reading, I realized that this mysterious being is a symbol of narrator’s sorrow as well as the wisdom that the narrator gains through their exchange.

    The poem has an obsessive rhythm in which the grief is progressively possessing the reader, full of internal rhymes, alliterations and other literary figures, which produce an unquiet as if a raven was invading our lives. I admire how Poe internalized in his poetry the dark side of the human mind. For example, the narrator dwells on Lenore’s death, leaving him destroyed and imagining the raven coming to him. This is an apodictic sign of character’s madness and Poe’s literature. In addition, I was touched by those expressed feelings of grief, melancholy presented in this composition of a person who is suffering the loss of a loved one. This masterpiece exhibits the reality of the life and how we assimilate into the real life these calamities, being that, people usually fall into an enormous depression because of the fact to have lost a relative as “The Raven’s” protagonist; who is immersed in his world full of Lenore memories.

    As a final remark, the fear of death or of oblivion is immersed in Poe's writing, and "The Raven" is one of his bleakest publications. I am so proud to have had the opportunity to read deeply this poem full of mystery, love, sadness, grief, and craziness. Moreover, I think Poe was a master of his genre and a genius like no other. “The Raven” has a perfection of rhythm, a universal theme which touches the emotions of every human being, and words carefully chosen to fit the mood of the poem. I consider that only a tortured soul could create a pure poetic perfection.

  3. "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe, is a very interesting and amazing poem; and for me it seems such as an unreal story, where a raven arrives at the window of the room of a man and talks to him, reminding him, in a sarcastic way, that he will never see his love again. The first impression I had when reading the title was that the poem was about nature, but once I read the whole text I realized that it was about a sad and depressing story of a man who suffers, almost to the brink of insanity, owing to the memories of a love that is gone forever.

    I consider that the main themes of the poem are depression and loneliness, since the author tries to describe in detail his feelings of both, love and pain. It is also implied in the poem his desire to forget this woman, however, her image (represented with the raven) remains with him until death. One, as a reader, can feel the melodramatic tone that the author expresses given his low emotional state, which makes it sound like a distressed and desperate one.

    In my opinion, the raven, the black color, and the window are some symbols that allude to a sad life and represent the solitude, the memories and the pain that hurt a man in love, a man who has not completely assimilated the loss of his lover. In think that this is a very "strong" poem, not only for the evil references made with a demon and the obscure, but because of the pain someone may suffer for losing a loved one.

  4. "The Raven" is a narrative poem by the American writer Edgar Allan Poe. In this text it is noticeable that the author uses several symbols to represent the key elements significantly important to follow and understand the narration (mythological characters, circumstances, ambiance, and period of time). It is crucial to identify the meaning of these clues included in the text because we can go further the narrative and perceive the author’s mood, feelings and intention that allow readers being connected with the theme. Edgar Allan Poe reflects through this poem how losing someone may have a strong shock that even could affect the physiological dimension of a person.

    One relevant aspect of the text is that at the beginning the narrator attempts to give a rational explanation of the circumstances (the tapping at the door) but so far, at the end he gives the raven any interpretation beyond that which he invented in his head. Other key aspect of the poem is the structure; it is evident that the narrator begins with a weak and tired mood, then, he continues with his heartbroken because of the endless mourning of the Lenore’s death. This painful feeling probably is associated to the word “Nevermore” (highlighted several times in the poem) referring to the everlasting devotion to Lenore and the bittersweet of living with her absence because she will nevermore stay with him. Finally, he becomes hysteric and mad, he does not understand whether the raven is a divine or evil creature, or maybe death?

    As a conclusion, his poem basically discloses that the narrator was captured in a dilemma whether let or not let go the frustrating desire to forget and the desire to remember his beloved deceased Lenore. He is unable to free himself of that tortuous memory that possible took place “in the bleak December”. The complex writing style of the author and the details of this text make of this poem one of his best work.

  5. “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe is considered a great American literary work. It is a poem that makes reference to the sorrow and the deepest sadness that a person feels with the loss of a loved one, an incomparable distress that cannot be cured easily, which requires time and acceptance. The author in this work uses a raven as a symbol of torture, especially the self-inflicted torture, because he tries to look for answers in order to relieve his delirious and distressed soul, but the only answer he receives is "Nevermore". In addition, the raven also represents the title of the poem, which in my opinion has two important purposes, though it is a very simple title: the first one is to prepare the reader for what is coming and give us a little hint about the big event in the poem, and the second one is to give us one more reason to wonder what this bird is, where it comes from, and what it might represent, so at the end of the poem the reader can realize that it represents pain and death.

    I believe that with this poem the author wanted to show the more sensitive side that a person can have, his more intimate feelings, his sadness over the loss of his true love, and the loneliness that one feels from the moment of his/ her death. Besides, this poem shows the dread that everyone, without exception, feels for not being able to see his/her beloved one nevermore. This was the interpretation I could do after reading the whole poem several times, because without a doubt it has a complex language to understand, and its poetic style is confusing. I must admit that the first time that I read the poem I hated it for not finding the true meaning, but now I recognize the great message that lurks behind each line and the feelings that are transmitted are a reflection of what we hold in our hearts.

    To sum up, I would like to say that in spite of the fact that death is painful and sad, we must remove our mind of the sorrow, because it can manage to consume us completely. We need to know that pain is part of our lives, but it is us who decide if we want it to last forever or take advantage of the painful experiences and turn them into motives for being stronger every day.

  6. I have to admit that for me Allan Poe’s writing style has always been hard to get used to. Nevertheless, after getting involved in the master of the macabre’s atmosphere, I always end up liking his compositions even more. The musical rhythm is also a key factor that encloses his stories by giving them some sort of catching mystical dark veil. In "The Raven", I found some of the most well chosen symbolisms ever used, as it cites the Norse and Greek mythology and even other poems he wrote. It is also important to have in mind Poe’s mind state when he wrote the poem, he boggled readers’ minds to the point of making them wonder the level of madness he was dealing with, to actually being able to portray it in a piece of paper. Then, in brief, the story went around a distraught Romeo who dealt with his beloved one’s departing by interacting with a raven.

    If the poem is analyzed form a psychological perspective it can be said that the meeting with the bird is the first clue to start querying about the narrator's (and author’s) mental status. The narrator exposed his own thoughts and feelings onto the bird, by which in the end the only phrase was the well-known "Nevermore". There, the narrator used his intellect to interpret what the feathered creature meant in the way he needed. That is based on the idea that there was no point in asking when the answer would always be the same. The only meaning could be that the raven was not even talking and that the replies were only the madman's thoughts.

    I’ve always thought that poetry in general is ridiculous as most of the time it is an overly complicated fancy word choosing that in the end is hard to dissect. The fact that I’m not a fan of conventional poetry is what perhaps has created in me the previous conception. Everybody knows that Poe went to another level. He was able to illustrate in the cleverest way his grieving, and experiences during moments of complete intoxication. Furthermore, he could expose how to climb out of the pit, and the risks of staying in the darkness with such ease that none has been able to compose something similar to what he did. Finally and to highlight, becoming enraged and falling into madness, is how Poe expressed he’s got trapped in the raven’s beneath shadow. Nevertheless, the raven could also be an image of himself as a self-destructive and unable man whose own sorrow was impossible to handle.