Wednesday, August 1, 2012


The Raven

It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.
Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe is most famous for writing "The Raven."  It is one of the few literary works that I can remember studying in school, with it's rhythmic rhyming, the tap tap tapping and rap rap rapping, back in 1845, long before today's rappers.  Poe was writing vampire tales decades before Twilight made it all popular.  I would venture to guess that most people over the age of 18 could finish this sentence, "Once upon a midnight dreary, while I wondered weak and ..."

Poe was born the son of actors, his father abandoned them, his mother died, a couple took him in but never adopted him, he was thrown out of the military, and he married his 13 year old cousin!  Then, at the age of 36, he wrote the poem, "The Raven."  He became a national celebrity.  It was published in The New York Evening Mirror on January 29, 1845, and it turned him into an instant success.  The New World republished it and said, "Everyone reads the poem and praises it...It is full of originality and power."  The Pennsylvania Inquirer republished it as a "A Beautiful Poem."  However, it brought Poe no financial success.

He died at the young age of forty, and the cause of his death is unknown.  The implications are that it was related to alcohol, drug abuse, heart disease, or possibly suicide.  Although Edgar Allan Poe had such a dark and inauspicious life, "The Raven" is still considered one of the most famous poems ever written!  Poe, himself, was even referred to and called The Raven because of the poem's massive popularity, however now he is known for being the inventor of "Detective Fiction", and for having written dozens of poems, short stories, a play, and a novel.

It is also very interesting that Edgar Allan Poe said the following:
A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this: that offences against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made - not to understand - but to feel - as crime.
Edgar Allan Poe