January 29th 1845: ‘The Raven’ published

edgar

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

 

On this day in 1845, the poem ‘The Raven’ by American writer Edgar Allan Poe was published in the New York Evening Mirror. The poem made Poe famous and established him as a popular writer. ‘The Raven’ remains one of his best known works today. It tells the story of a raven who comes to a man who has recently lost his beloved. The raven perches on a bust of Pallas and distresses the man by repeating the word “Nevermore”. Despite being a poetry philistine, I personally think this is a wonderful poem. Its chilling tone and musicality make it an exemplary work by Poe.

 

edgar raven

Gustave Doré’s interpretation of the poem’s final lines

 

“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 lamp-light 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!”

(read the full poem here)

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