My Paradox of “The Raven”

I think this is a very sad poem if you gasp the true meaning of what’s it’s saying.

 

 

 

The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe

 

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

This was his first mistake: messing around with those “quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore. People decided long ago those quaint and curious books were bad and it’s best to forget about them because who knows what may pop up when pondering weak and weary over them.

 

In the mid to late 1800’s there was spiritualism movement going on in America and Europe. But I don’t think it was the base for Poe’s poem. The man had lost many loved ones and is deeply grieving.

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—

Only this and nothing more.”

Oh boy, there’s something there alright. It stepped right off the page of those quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lores.

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Nameless here for evermore.

Oh man! you really, really shouldn’t be reading this while so grief-stricken.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—

Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—

This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

“I always heard you don’t talk to those things. You really don’t want to hear their answers.”

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

“The stately raven’s arrogance sounds like an Immortal to me.”

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Wow! He’s much, much braver than I. I would’ve ran out into the night screaming. Gosh! He knew what it was and where it was from. He knew it was from hell.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—

“I don’t rightly think blessing have anything to do with seeing this joker above your chamber’s door.”

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—

Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”

Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

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’.”

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—

Hmmm I wonder if it’s a psychopomp? Anyway, I write scary stuff like this but if any of that stuff shows up…I’m so outta of here. There’s no way I’m sitting on a cushioned seat in front of something like “Cooter” perched on a bust above my chamber door;

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

“’Bird of yore‘ means before creation. It’s older than creation….oh boy, it’s long passed time to call Angels, or Someone holy to get that thing out of your house.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;

“No, man you don’t need to be guessing what’s on his mind. His fiery eyes are telling you. You need to be praying not guessing.”

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

Again, you doing something that will bring more things like that Raven to your door. Stop that ‘divining’! Aren’t you deep enough into the occults?”

On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

“I guess the angels know that grief caused him to consult a demon about the whereabout of his beloved Lenore and came to keep it from carrying what it intended to do.”

“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

Nepenthe- a drug described in Homer’s Odyssey as banishing grief or trouble from a person’s mind.

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—

On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—

Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

Aidenn is the poetic spelling of Eden”

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—

“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

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!

Well, I wish things had turned out differently.

On a more serious note. The man is giving a deep insight as to where grief often leads people.

About unholypursuit

A. White, an award winning former librarian who is also long time member of Romantic Time and Publisher's Weekly. A. White has been writing for over fifteen years. She took classes in creative writing in college, specializing in ancient myths and legends. and at a local community center while living in Chicago. In college she won the national contest to verbally list every country in the world, it's capital and ingenious language. Her works are mainly horror, fantasy, extreme, and sci-fi as well as, as some may says, "the truly strange predicament and puzzling." Books that I've written are "Clash with the Immortals, and eleven others which are part of the "Unholy Pursuit saga,". She has been working on the Chronicles since 2007. She wished to complete them all before introducing them to public so the readers wouldn't have to for the continuation to be written. The ideas of the book come from classic literature such as whose work greatly influence the world world such as Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, Euripides, Socrates, Hippocrates, Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and many more. The "Book of Enoch" influenced the usage of Azazael as a main character and love interest. I created the primary main character from the Chronicle of Saints. I wanted to show them as real flesh and blood with thoughts, desires and yearning as any human. Not as they are so often depicted. So I created one of my own to show her as a real human that everyone can relate to.
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8 Responses to My Paradox of “The Raven”

  1. Amanda Stevens says:

    I believed that was an extraordinary oddity. I’ve consistently thought practically something very similar. Be that as it may, it was the mid-1800’s when spiritualism and the mysticism was a busy statures.

    On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 10:10 PM

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amanda Stevens says:

    Something else noted:* Bird of yore*

    * Highlighted phrase: Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore — The narrator describes the Raven as ominous, meaning scary and threatening. It also may refer to the bird. as an omen, a sign of things still to come. Yore refers to a time in the past, usually long ago. *

    *Wow ! You really know your stuff. *

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Benyapoesy says:

    One of my best poem ever, I daily reread it in my mind, and it was a pleasure rereading it here again. Your comments were nice, great post. 🖤

    Like

  4. Brendana says:

    Interesting concept. Love it.

    Liked by 1 person

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