The Raven

Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2004 05:21 pm
ReX, Welcome to A2K.

Poe's cleverness in using internal rhyme as well as his hopelessness as exemplified in the poem, is rather like a succubus to many readers. I must locate the source that cites the fact that Edgar may have plagiarized the poem. Somehow I still believe that, because like many artistic people, Poe may have used this as a vehicle to lure the dilettantes into a false web of profundity.

Far more impressive to me is the fact that he was so profuse in all areas of writing.
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Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2004 03:08 pm
So it's really more of language game than a deep poem? Smile
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Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2004 03:16 pm
Hmmm...I would take issue with your assessment that The Raven is the most infamous poem in American history. While it's clearly one of the most popular, Walt Whitman's entire oeuvre, 'Leaves of Grass' was certainly more infamous, instantly banned, fought about in the courts....that, to me, spells infamy. Maybe you meant 'famous'? I like Poe, but as for his popular poems, I actually prefer Annabel Lee to The Raven.
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Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2004 03:25 pm
ReX wrote:
So it's really more of language game than a deep poem? Smile

For me, it's his use of language to create mood. He chooses words both for what their meanings evoke and for the background music of their sounds.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
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Craven de Kere
Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 02:35 am
The rhyming conventions he used are very tough to pull off without sounding like a commercial jingle.

His talent in the peom is flawless rhyme. Screw the meaning, that the perfect rhyme makes sense at all is just a bonus.
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Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 07:25 pm
. . . I remember as a junior in high school we had to translate each line in "The Raven" to a non-poetry essay. It is actually very literal in it's meaning - Reflecting Poe's melancholy soul at a particular point in his life.

since then ... I've been fascinated by him. It's one small, albeit most famous part of a darker and vast drunk rant of a blackened tormented genius.
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Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 07:42 pm
Jugbo. Poe was the counterpart to the dark prince. I looked at your past threads and saw where you lost your wife. Just remember, my friend. Poe wrote other poetry, too.

Hear the sledges with the bells-
Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.

Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells!
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells!
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And an in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon!
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells!
How it swells!
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells!

Hear the loud alarum bells-
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,
Leaping higher, higher, higher,
With a desperate desire,
And a resolute endeavor,
Now-now to sit or never,
By the side of the pale-faced moon.
Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!
How they clang, and clash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
Yet the ear it fully knows,
By the twanging,
And the clanging,
How the danger ebbs and flows:
Yet the ear distinctly tells,
In the jangling,
And the wrangling,
How the danger sinks and swells,
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells-
Of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells,bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

Hear the tolling of the bells-
Iron Bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
In the silence of the night,
How we shiver with affright
At the melancholy menace of their tone!
For every sound that floats
From the rust within their throats
Is a groan.
And the people-ah, the people-
They that dwell up in the steeple,
All Alone
And who, tolling, tolling, tolling,
In that muffled monotone,
Feel a glory in so rolling
On the human heart a stone-
They are neither man nor woman-
They are neither brute nor human-
They are Ghouls:
And their king it is who tolls;
And he rolls, rolls, rolls,
A paean from the bells!
And his merry bosom swells
With the paean of the bells!
And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the paean of the bells-
Of the bells:
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the throbbing of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells-
To the sobbing of the bells;
Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
In a happy Runic rhyme,
To the rolling of the bells-
Of the bells, bells, bells:
To the tolling of the bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells-
Bells, bells, bells-
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

Don't you just love the meter and the diction? Simple words, but so powerful. The circle of birth and death.
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Reply Fri 12 Nov, 2004 10:50 pm
I read that one out loud to my 3 year old daughter ... she got really excited as I swelled in volume and fervor.... that is a very fun poem to read aloud.
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2004 03:20 pm
ReX wrote:
Forgive my stupidity but I wonder why this is the most infamous poem in american history. I don't see what's so special about it. But, I admit, I'm not very educated when it comes to any piece of literary art, especially poetry.

So, could somebody please explain to me what other layers can be found in this poem. It would be rather weak of the poem (or superficial on my behalf to behold it as such) to only be about self-torture.

A brief summary? An explanation on why it's so great? Meanings which I don't get? Anything?

I've even read that Poe simply chose the goddess of wisdom because of the way her name sounded. Supporting my prejudice that a lot more connections have been made than the author originally thought of. Like said about Shakespeare: It's not so much what he wrote, it's what been said about what he wrote. I don't remember who said that first, but I'm inclined to agree.

Of course, when observing the fanclubs, I must be wrong. But so far, nobody has explained me why.

Because it's immaculate.

The meter doesn't falter even once... it is absolutely the most perfect piece of American poetry ever written.

I may be a tad biased, though. :wink:
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Reply Thu 23 Dec, 2004 07:02 am
Oh, ok. I just figured there was a deeper meaning to it.
It's nice to listen to though. My personal preference remains in the lyrical, sound containing, musical field. But I suppose I my expectations of the poem (and poetry and general, for this is the greatest american poem ever written) exceeded the outcome.

To me 'tis just good another song.
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Merry Andrew
Reply Thu 23 Dec, 2004 07:17 am
"Poe read The Raven in a low voice very quietly, and the poem when so recited has an effect very different from that of old-time elocutionists. There is something ironic in the fact that the first book publication of the poem was in a textbook on elocution."

T.O. Mabbott (Professor of English, Hunter College), editor of The Selected Poetry and Prose of Edgar Allan Poe New York: The Modern Library (1953)
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