This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"-. Merely this, and nothing more. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. 2. Created for Lit2Go on the. 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. Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on January 19, His most famous and popular poem, The Raven, was published in this magazine;.
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"The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in January It is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and. list. It was given to Edgar Allan Poe to produce poems is the motive more palpably defined. “The two lyrics, “The Bells" and The Raven, each of Haunted Palace". Download The Raven free in PDF & EPUB format. Download EDGAR ALLAN POE's The Raven for your kindle, tablet, IPAD, PC or mobile.
But he had written nothing that was on the tongue of everybody. Through the industry of Poe's successive biographers, the hit made by The Raven has become an oft-told tale. The poet's young wife, Virginia, was fading before his eyes, but lingered for another year within death's shadow. The long, low chamber in the house near the Bloomingdale Road is as famous as the room where Rouget de l'Isle composed the Marseillaise.
All have heard that the poem, signed "Quarles," appeared in the "American Review," with a pseudo-editorial comment on its form; that Poe received ten dollars for it; that Willis, the kindest and least envious of fashionable arbiters, reprinted it with a eulogy that instantly made it town-talk. All doubt of its authorship was dispelled when Poe recited it himself at a literary gathering, and for a time he was the most marked of American authors.
The hit stimulated and encouraged him.
Like another and prouder satirist, he too found "something of summer" even "in the hum of insects. A Whig Journal" was a creditable magazine for the time, double- columned, printed on good paper with clear type, and illustrated by mezzotint portraits. Amid much matter below the present standard, it contained some that any editor would be glad to receive. Ralph Hoyt's quaint poem, "Old," appeared in this volume. And here are three lyrics by Poe: Two of these were built up,—such was his way,—from earlier studies, but the last-named came out as if freshly composed, and almost as we have it now.
The statement that it was not afterward revised is erroneous. Eleven trifling changes from the magazine-text appear in The Raven and Other Poems, , a book which the poet shortly felt encouraged to offer the public. These are mostly changes of punctuation, or of single words, the latter kind made to heighten the effect of alliteration. In Mr. Lang's pretty edition of Poe's verse, brought out in the "Parchment Library," he has shown the instinct of a scholar, and has done wisely, in going back to the text in the volume just mentioned, as given in the London issue of The "standard" Griswold collection of the poet's works abounds with errors.
These have been repeated by later editors, who also have made errors of their own. But the text of The Raven, owing to the requests made to the author for manuscript copies, was still farther revised by him; in fact, he printed it in Richmond, just before his death, with the poetic substitution of "seraphim whose foot-falls" for "angels whose faint foot-falls," in the fourteenth stanza.
Our present text, therefore, while substantially that of , is somewhat modified by the poet's later reading, and is, I think, the most correct and effective version of this single poem.
The most radical change from the earliest version appeared, however, in the volume in ; the eleventh stanza originally having contained these lines, faulty in rhyme and otherwise a blemish on the poem: Poe constantly rehandled his scanty show of verse, and usually bettered it.
The Raven was the first of the few poems which he nearly brought to completion before printing. It may be that those who care for poetry lost little by his death. Fluent in prose, he never wrote verse for the sake of making a poem. When a refrain of image haunted him, the lyric that resulted was the inspiration, as he himself said, of a passion, not of a purpose.
This was at intervals so rare as almost to justify the Fairfield theory that each was the product of a nervous crisis. What, then, gave the poet his clue to The Raven? From what misty foundation did it rise slowly to a music slowly breathed? As usual, more than one thing went to the building of so notable a poem.
Until recently I had supposed that this piece, and a few which its author composed after its appearance, were exceptional in not having grown from germs in his boyish verse.
But Mr. Fearing Gill has shown me some unpublished stanzas by Poe, written in his eighteenth year, and entitled, "The Demon of the Fire. Besides the plainest germs of "The Bells" and "The Haunted Palace" it contains a few lines somewhat suggestive of the opening and close of The Raven.
As to the rhythm of our poem, a comparison of dates indicates that this was influenced by the rhythm of "Lady Geraldine's Courtship. The lines from her love-poem, "With a murmurous stir uncertain, in the air, the purple curtain Swelleth in and swelleth out around her motionless pale brows," found an echo in these: In melody and stanzaic form, we shall see that the two poems are not unlike, but in motive they are totally distinct. The generous poetess felt nothing but the true originality of the poet.
Our great poet, Mr. Ingram, after referring to "Lady Geraldine," cleverly points out another source from which Poe may have caught an impulse. In , Albert Pike, the half-Greek, half-frontiersman, poet of Arkansas, had printed in "The New Mirror," for which Poe then was writing, some verses entitled "Isadore," but since revised by the author and called "The Widowed Heart.
Pike's revision the following stanza, of which the main features correspond with the original version: For my heart is like an autumn-cloud that overflows with rain; Thou art lost to me forever, Isadore!
There are other trails which may be followed by the curious; notably, a passage which Mr. Ingram selects from Poe's final review of "Barnaby Rudge": The progressive music, the scenic detail and contrasted light and shade,— above all, the spiritual passion of the nocturn, make it the work of an informing genius. As for the gruesome bird, he is unlike all the other ravens of his clan, from the "twa corbies" and "three ravens" of the balladists to Barnaby's rumpled "Grip.
Escaped across the Styx, from "the Night's Plutonian shore," he seems the imaged soul of the questioner himself,—of him who can not, will not, quaff the kind nepenthe, because the memory of Lenore is all that is left him, and with the surcease of his sorrow even that would be put aside. The Raven also may be taken as a representative poem of its author, for its exemplification of all his notions of what a poem should be. Verse cannot be better designated than as an inferior or less capable music"; but again, verse which is really the "Poetry of Words" is "The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty,"—this and nothing more.
The tone of the highest Beauty is one of Sadness.
The most melancholy of topics is Death. This must be allied to Beauty. The climax of "The Bells" is the muffled monotone of ghouls, who glory in weighing down the human heart.
Again, these are all nothing if not musical, and some are touched with that quality of the Fantastic which awakes the sense of awe, and adds a new fear to agony itself. Through all is dimly outlined, beneath a shadowy pall, the poet's ideal love,—so often half-portrayed elsewhere,—the entombed wife of Usher, the Lady Ligeia, in truth the counterpart of his own nature.
I suppose that an artist's love for one "in the form" never can wholly rival his devotion to some ideal. The woman near him must exercise her spells, be all by turns and nothing long, charm him with infinite variety, or be content to forego a share of his allegiance.
He must be lured by the Unattainable, and this is ever just beyond him in his passion for creative art. Poe, like Hawthorne, came in with the decline of the Romantic school, and none delighted more than he to laugh at its calamity. Yet his heart was with the romancers and their Oriental or Gothic effects.
His invention, so rich in the prose tales, seemed to desert him when he wrote verse; and his judgment told him that long romantic poems depend more upon incident than inspiration,—and that, to utter the poetry of romance, lyrics would suffice.
Hence his theory, clearly fitted to his own limitations, that "a 'long poem' is a flat contradiction in terms. Escaped across the Styx, from "the Night's Plutonian shore," he seems the imaged soul of the questioner himself,—of him who can not, will not, quaff the kind nepenthe, because the memory of Lenore is all that is left him, and with the surcease of his sorrow even that would be put aside.
The Raven also may be taken as a representative poem of its author, for its exemplification of all his notions of what a poem should be. Verse cannot be better designated than as an inferior or less capable music"; but again, verse which is really the "Poetry of Words" is "The Rhythmical Creation of Beauty,"—this and nothing more.
The tone of the highest Beauty is one of Sadness. The most melancholy of topics is Death. This must be allied to Beauty. The climax of "The Bells" is the muffled monotone of ghouls, who glory in weighing down the human heart. Again, these are all nothing if not musical, and some are touched with that quality of the Fantastic which awakes the sense of awe, and adds a new fear to agony itself. Through all is dimly outlined, beneath a shadowy pall, the poet's ideal love,—so often half-portrayed elsewhere,—the entombed wife of Usher, the Lady Ligeia, in truth the counterpart of his own nature.
I suppose that an artist's love for one "in the form" never can wholly rival his devotion to some ideal. The woman near him must exercise her spells, be all by turns and nothing long, charm him with infinite variety, or be content to forego a share of his allegiance. He must be lured by the Unattainable, and this is ever just beyond him in his passion for creative art.
Poe, like Hawthorne, came in with the decline of the Romantic school, and none delighted more than he to laugh at its calamity. Yet his heart was with the romancers and their Oriental or Gothic effects. His invention, so rich in the prose tales, seemed to desert him when he wrote verse; and his judgment told him that long romantic poems depend more upon incident than inspiration,—and that, to utter the poetry of romance, lyrics would suffice.
Hence his theory, clearly fitted to his own limitations, that "a 'long poem' is a flat contradiction in terms. But the piece affords a fine display of romantic material. What have we? The midnight; the shadowy chamber with its tomes of forgotten lore; the student,—a modern Hieronymus; the raven's tap on the casement; the wintry night and dying fire; the silken wind-swept hangings; the dreams and vague mistrust of the echoing darkness; the black, uncanny bird upon the pallid bust; the accessories of violet velvet and the gloating lamp.
All this stage effect of situation, light, color, sound, is purely romantic, and even melodramatic, but of a poetic quality that melodrama rarely exhibits, and thoroughly reflective of the poet's "eternal passion, eternal pain. Rhyme, alliteration, the burden, the stanzaic form, were devised with singular adroitness. Doubtless the poet was struck with the aptness of Miss Barrett's musical trochaics, in "eights," and especially by the arrangement adopted near the close of "Lady Geraldine": Are ye eyes that did undo me?
Shining eyes, like antique jewels set in Parian statue-stone! Underneath that calm white forehead, are ye ever burning torrid O'er the desolate sand-desert of my heart and life undone?
The persistent alliteration seems to come without effort, and often the rhymes within lines are seductive; while the refrain or burden dominates the whole work.
Here also he had profited by Miss Barrett's study of ballads and romaunts in her own and other tongues.
A "refrain" is the lure wherewith a poet or a musician holds the wandering ear,— the recurrent longing of Nature for the initial strain. A spring of love gushed from my heart, And I blessed them unaware: Sure my kind saint took pity on me, And I blessed them unaware.
Neither his avowal of cold-blooded artifice, nor his subsequent avowal to friends that an exposure of this artifice was only another of his intellectual hoaxes, need be wholly credited.
If he had designed the complete work in advance, he scarcely would have made so harsh a prelude of rattle-pan rhymes to the delicious melody of the second stanza,—not even upon his theory of the fantastic. Of course an artist, having perfected a work, sees, like the first Artist, that it is good, and sees why it is good.
A subsequent analysis, coupled with a disavowal of any sacred fire, readily enough may be made. My belief is that the first conception and rough draft of this poem came as inspiration always comes; that its author then saw how it might be perfected, giving it the final touches described in his chapter on Composition, and that the latter, therefore, is neither wholly false nor wholly true.
The harm of such analysis is that it tempts a novice to fancy that artificial processes can supersede imagination.
The impulse of genius is to guard the secrets of its creative hour. Glimpses obtained of the toil, the baffled experiments, which precede a triumph, as in the sketch-work of Hawthorne recently brought to light, afford priceless instruction and encouragement to the sincere artist.
But one who voluntarily exposes his Muse to the gaze of all comers should recall the fate of King Candaules. The world still thinks of Poe as a "luckless man of genius. Griswold's decrial and slander turned the current in his favor. Critics and biographers have come forward with successive refutations, with tributes to his character, with new editions of his works. His own letters and the minute incidents of his career are before us; the record, good and bad, is widely known.
No appellor has received more tender and forgiving judgement. His mishaps in life belonged to his region and period, perchance still more to his own infirmity of will. Doubtless his environment was not one to guard a fine-grained, ill-balanced nature from perils without and within.
His strongest will, to be lord of himself, gained for him "that heritage of woe. But his was a full share of that dramatic temper which exults in the presage of its own doom. There is a delight in playing one's high part: To quote Burke's matter of fact: If, according to his own belief, sadness and the vanishing of beauty are the highest poetic themes, and poetic feeling the keenest earthly pleasure, then the sorrow and darkness of his broken life were not without their frequent compensation.
In the following pages, we have a fresh example of an artist's genius characterizing his interpretation of a famous poem. Such matters concerned him less than to make shape and distance, light and shade, assist his purpose, —which was to excite the soul, the imagination, of the looker on.
This he did by arousing our sense of awe, through marvellous and often sublime conceptions of things unutterable and full of gloom or glory. It is well said that if his works were not great paintings, as pictures they are great indeed. As a "literary artist," and such he was, his force was in direct ratio with the dramatic invention of his author, with the brave audacities of the spirit that kindled his own. Hence his success with Rabelais, with "Le Juif-Errant," "Les Contes Drolatiques," and "Don Quixote," and hence, conversely, his failure to express the beauty of Tennyson's Idyls, of "Il Paradiso," of the Hebrew pastorals, and other texts requiring exaltation, or sweetness and repose.
He was a born master of the grotesque, and by a special insight could portray the spectres of a haunted brain. We see objects as his personages saw them, and with the very eyes of the Wandering Jew, the bewildered Don, or the goldsmith's daughter whose fancy so magnifies the King in the shop on the Pont-au-Change. It was in the nature of things that he should be attracted to each masterpiece of verse or prose that I have termed unique. The lower kingdoms were called into his service; his rocks, trees and mountains, the sky itself, are animate with motive and diablerie.
Had he lived to illustrate Shakespeare, we should have seen a remarkable treatment of Caliban, the Witches, the storm in "Lear"; but doubtless should have questioned his ideals of Imogen or Miranda. Beauty pure and simple, and the perfect excellence thereof, he rarely seemed to comprehend. The Rime afforded him a prolonged story, with many shiftings of the scene.
In The Raven sound and color preserve their monotone and we have no change of place or occasion. What is the result? This would appear more clearly had the latter tried his hand upon the "Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.
Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal 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!
Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mein of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door Perched upon my 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 thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!
Nothing farther 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, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
Whether Tempest 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? 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.
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken! Take thy beak from out my heart,and Take thy form from off my door! Lore: 2. Morrow: 3.