October 5, 2004

Quoth the Raven, NEVERMORE

I'm sorry, but what is it with people and Poe? I just don't get it. Judging from the Poe/Dickinson Poetry Slam my Lit class performed last week, I definately am biased towards Emily Dickinson in comparison to Poe.

Now this poem, "The Raven," I have NEVER liked. I mean, I just don't get it? Is he talking about an actual raven or something symbolic of it? The more I think about it, the less angry I get at Poe for writing what I think to be such ridiculous pieces of literature...I think I blame my teachers/professors. I was never actually sat down with a class in all my years of schooling and taught what this poem was about. What are its symbolic undertones, what is its meaning, what was Poe trying to say?

I reiterate...I just don't get it?

As much as I read and re-read this poem, I just can't seem to make sense of it and without sense there is no appreciation, atleast not from me.

Posted by ReneeDeFloria at October 5, 2004 9:46 PM

I agree that this poem is confusing. And the guy seems pretty crazy...or is it a woman--you never learn the sex of the narrator. Now isn't that something...

However, I am pretty sure the narrator was intended to be a male, but that is just one instance of how sparse the actual fact is in this poem. I have the inkling that this was Poe's intent on writing this piece to confuse, and therefore turn the reader into the mindset of the narrator, pining away for a lost love, and the reader, also is lost--lost in the symbolism of the piece.

Posted by: Amanda at October 5, 2004 10:13 PM

I believe Poe was in fact trying to give insight into a man (I assume it to be man) who is slowly losing his mind because of his lost love. The raven may indeed be real but his mind gives such dire undertones to it's presence. He is spiraling down into madness and imagining that the bird is responding to him with some message from the grave.

I find it rather spooky...but a little hard to read. All of Poe's work for me is hard to read but the plots are rather ingenious. Myself, I found Dickenson to be a little sappy.

I like the supernatural or spooky though

Posted by: Dara at November 5, 2004 4:16 PM

Classically, the raven has been a symbol of the spirit world. I think that in this poem the Raven serves as a sort of omniscient being who is allowing the narrator to ask it questions. The ingenious aspect of this poem is that the bird could just as well be a trained bird who can only say the word "nevermore." The narrator asks questions that he already knows the answer to, and gets the answers he expects. Is my lost love in heaven waiting for me? Nevermore. Is there a life after this one? Nevermore. The bird here represents the answers to questions that we all ask, and all pretend we don't already know the answers to. The man falls completely into insanity at the end because the bird will not leave, ie the man can no longer ignore what he knows.

Posted by: Andy at November 11, 2004 2:20 AM

Poe is such a good writter. Once upon a midnight dreary while i pondered weak...

Posted by: Sarah at October 17, 2005 10:40 PM