News Article

News Article

Revisiting Edgar Allan Poe's Classic Poem 'The Raven'

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In January, BoingBoing featured a piece on the The Library of Congress scans of artwork from an original print of Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven."
 
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These scans bring to vivid life one of Poe's most famous and beloved works. "The Raven" is a familiar tale of love, loss, mourning and insanity. It was no secret that Poe was something of a tortured individual, but his melancholy never stopped him from creatively and meticulously planning his works.
 
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He was well-known for saying that writers should plan out their works ahead of time. In that respect he was a perfectionist and, like most writers, extremely critical of his own work. Whether or not one agrees with his belief that writers should always have a plan (or outline) before creating a story, poem or other written work, it is clear to see that "The Raven" is a great example of writing at its finest.
 
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During the course of this classic poem, the narrator seems to be intentionally tortured by a pitiless raven, who constantly reminds the man that he'll never again see his lost love, Lenore. The raven itself is a common figure in mythology, usually as a messenger.
 
What really seems to make this poem stand out as a classic is how exceptionally it unites both narrative storytelling and rhyme. It might be said that even some epic poems of earlier ages failed to consistently hold both a strong narrative and flowing poetic rhyme throughout. 
 
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The haunting illustrations which accompany the manuscript, rendered by legendary French artist Gustave Doré, are as artistic and meticulous as the poem itself, and accentuate what was already a masterpiece on its own.
 
To see larger scans of "The Raven", visit the Library of Congress and BoingBong.net.
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