Today began with its usual upbeat emotional feeling. However, there was a niggling sensation of something slightly amiss. I pondered it as objectively as a person can at a very early hour of the morning.
Later, the day continued with friends’ complaints of aches and pains accompanied by some grumpiness. Where there were no complaints, I noticed only a tense silence. I wondered about these aberations taking place during an otherwise pleasant day. It seemed unsettling. Perhaps the sensation was the spark to select today’s historical bluejayblog post topic.
On this date in 1854, Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem, “The Raven” was first released in print by the “New York Evening Mirror”.
“…While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door
— Only this and nothing more.”
An anonymous narrator reads “forgotten lore” in an effort to soothe the loss of his lover, Lenore. He finally answers the rapping at his door. A raven enters the man’s apartment then perches on a bust of Pallas Athena, the Goddess of wisdom.
The selection of a raven is important in that ravens are a literary symbol often depicting night and unauspiciousness. Ravens were thought of as messengers from the afterlife and the Roman God of the Underworld, Pluto. The poet says he chose the Raven to symbolize a mournful, never-ending memory.
The narrator asks the bird whether or not Lenore had ascended into heaven. The Raven replies, “Nevermore”. The bird’s reply of “Nevermore” to further questioning provides an etheric, frightful note to the rather dark poem. You can read the entire work at this location: http://www.famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/edgar_allan_poe/poems/18848
The darkness and mystery, for which Edgar Allan Poe is famous, is at once obvious. The depth of the creepiness is almost overwhelming. For the person wanting to push the limits of her or his emotional sensations, “The Raven” remains one of the most deeply unnerving examples of Poe’s craft. The feelings will haunt the reader long after the reading session has ended.
Poe’s public readings of “The Raven” were widely acclaimed. It’s too bad that his sonorous renditions of the poem could not have been captured on a recording for posterity. Hence, we are only left with the verse, “Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore'”.
The Blue Jay of Happiness recommends Emily Dickinson’s poem called “The Blue Jay”. It’s at this link: