Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Raven Edger Allen Poe



The Raven by Edger Allen Poe is a poem about internal conflict. Poe writes early in his poem that the man of his tale has been trying to achieve "surcease of sorrow for the lost Lenore", by burying himself in old books. He is interrupted in his efforts by a knock on the door, on opening he only finds:

"darkness there and nothing more." 

He whispers into the darkness the name of his love, "Lenore" but all he hears in return is the echo of his own voice repeating her name. Only just returning to his book he hears again another tapping, this time it is at his window. Flinging open the window in steps a:

"stately Raven, the bird of ill-omen" 

On entering the room the raven perches on the bust of a Greek goddess. Staring for a while the man asks the Raven for his name, surprisingly the bird answers," Nevermore." Poe goes on explain that the man consideres the Raven has brought him bad news. 

"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."

The man becomes interested in what the raven means by Nevermore and proceeds to asks of the bird questions such as "Is there balm in Gilead?"  "Nevermore." Can Lenore be found in paradise? - "Nevermore." "Take thy form from off my door!"  "Nevermore." in the hope that the bird will bring an end to his sorrows. Getting no answer but Nevermore the man at realises that he is defeated and with this understands that he will never deal with the loss of Lenore, this one thought is represented by the Raven who does not move from the statue and continuing to croak the single word "Nevermore." 

A pointless conversation, and the conflict between desire to forget and desire to remember drives the man insane.

"And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!"

Wonderfully Gothic....great stuff!

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