Publisher: The Evening Mirror
Released: January 29, 1845
"The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man's slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further distress the protagonist with its constant repetition of the word "Nevermore". The poem makes use of folk, mythological, religious, and classical references.
I’ve read The Raven a few times in the past, but never “properly”. Because of the reputation this poem has, I hoped that this was why I didn’t appreciate it as much as it seems I should have.
I decided to finally sit down and read through it a few times slowly, and think about it properly.
And yes, it does get better with repetition, and yes, it is worth spending some time thinking about. Rather than wondering why people really like The Raven, I now really like it myself. I still don’t find it exceptional, but it’s definitely a thoughtful, emotional piece of writing that I think is not only worth reading, but also worth re-reading and thinking about.