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February 15, 2006

Academic Article

Hácová, ''Love, Life and Death in Coleridge's Poem 'The Raven''' -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

After reading this academic article, I walked away with a different perspective of "The Raven" then i did when i first read the poem. In the beginninfg it goes on to say that Coleridge symbolizes life and death through lots of symbols. Now that i read this, i see why he included the symbols he used, as well as in pairs. I agree with Coleridge on the fact that "if all people shared love and honesty, it would be easier to find and exercise truth as the highest value that people could ever reach."
The poem really established his views on the human society and that we are very selfish. Selfish with materials needs and other stuff. I feel as if Coleridge wrote this poem in relation to him and his father's relationship. They never really had one. The symbolism with the raven and the nest showed what his relationship was not.
Because us humans look out for ourselves instead of others, we tend to do things in greed, like the woodsman. Because he killed the oak tree where the ravens lived, it came back to haunt him where the coffin he was buried in was made out of oak.
I didn't realize all the symbolism and life and death as well as relationship figures were in this poem. I totally agree with Coleridge when he says "the never ending rotation of life and death." We will never truly understand it, like we truly dont understand humans.

Posted by Denamarie at February 15, 2006 11:44 AM

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Comments

Dena,
That's a great point about the symbols that he uses. I didn't realize that the raven was that much of a symbol until I read this article. I didn't realize how many symbols there were either. The raven, the tree, the swine, the storm, and others.

Posted by: Andy LoNigro at February 15, 2006 03:27 PM

Coleridge was very young when he wrote this poem, and it's not considered one of his best. But now that we're in the first of our creative writing units, I think it's important to consider just how much care Coleridge put into every single detail that's part of this poem.

While it's not terribly constructive to think of the act of composing literature as piecing together riddles for the reader to solve, I think it's also fair to say that if you don't have a good reason for putting in a particular detail (such as a character, a scene, or a reference to the texture of someone's skin or the color of their clothing) then it's probably better to leave it out.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 15, 2006 04:03 PM

That's a good point Dr. Jerz. In the process of writing our short stories, I found that there were some things that I had in the story that didn't really have any relevance to the plot. It wasn't beneficial to the story to have them in there but I wanted to keep them because I thought they were interesting but I had to end up cutting them because they weren't important details.

Posted by: Andy LoNigro at February 16, 2006 11:17 AM

Andy, it's painful to have to cut good stuff, but if it makes room for the better stuff, well, you can think of it like your adult tooth pushing the baby tooth out of the way.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 16, 2006 11:34 AM

I think it's that fear of having to decipher every line of a poem that scares most people away from reading poetry. Alot of people I know just say that poems take too much effort to enjoy... but I must respectfully disagree.

There are some things in the poem that we all appreciated right away, but when we read this article, and thought about it further, more details came to light. Poetry can be good on the surface or even better if you dig a little... it's up to the reader.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at February 16, 2006 07:55 PM

I felt the same way about the article. I walked away also with a different perspective of the poem. the different connections in the poem really pulled the poem together like the icing on the cake.

Posted by: AmandaNichols at February 16, 2006 08:19 PM

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