pronunciation in The Raven : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I have a small question about how to pronounce something in the Raven... and it's a strange question. In the line:

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-

The word "enchanted". Normally I would pronounce the word so that the "chant" part of the word rhymes with "ant", but it seems more appropriate in the poem to make it rhyme with "haunt". Perhaps Poe pronounced it differently than us? It sounds like the English may have it rhyme with "haunted"..... any opinions?

-- Anonymous, March 01, 2000


I think that "enchanted" was thrown in as slant rhyme. The whole ryhme sceme of the poem was probably so hard to write that Poe didn't care if there was a teeny slant here and there. Although I couldn't find another one.

-- Anonymous, March 12, 2000

Rhyme it with "haunted", for crying out loud!

Certainly, the "best" or "most effective" readings of this poem have been, in my opinion, recited in a deep basso voice, a la James Earl Jones. And he would probably have said "enchanted" somewhere in between the "a" of "hat" and the "au" of "haunt". In other words, the "au" of "aunt".

-- Anonymous, March 12, 2000


I have one other suggestion you may want to consider. It is in fact, that the two words enchanted and haunted do rhyme and rather well, I might add. That is to a Virginia Southern Gentleman who happened to write brilliant poetry.

Following Poes death, it seems everyone that ever knew him or even spoke to him had some opinion to offer relative to his talents, his physical and mental attributes, his habits and his failings during his lifetime. One thing that is historically reliable is that Edgar characterized himself as a Southern gentleman and was thought of as such by many of his friends. He was said to speak rather articulately with a soft, low but masculine voice that carried an easily discernable Southern drawl and would, quite naturally, rhyme words that someone from another part of the country may find it difficult to adjust to or reconcile to their taste. Therefore it is not necessarily impractical for Poe to have naturally rhymed "enchanted" with "huanted".

I spent the better part of my military occupation working under a gentleman from the southern states that insisted on pronouncing the word about as if it were spelled aboot and I would swear that whenever he spoke the word book, he would add three additional o s. Imagine, if you can, a bitter cold and overcast December daybreak in Germany with snowflakes gently falling as our company stands reveille and eagerly awaits being dismissed. Finally, after what seems hours of freezing temperatures that have actually lasted only minutes, the Sergeants booming voice shouts, ABOOT FACE.. DISMISSED! It never failed to amuse me.

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

My apologies, Gerard. I think "huanted" in the second paragragh should be spelled "haunted"! : )

-- Anonymous, March 25, 2000

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