The Ravengreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
I actually have two questions. One is, how many times does a raven appear in Poe's works. The second is, I am looking for a web site where I might find lesson plans for teaching Poe. The grade level is 6-9. I hope you can help. Thanks
-- Anonymous, March 07, 2000
That's an interesting question about the raven and one I have never considered before. I can't answer your question specifically, but I don't believe a raven appears very often and certainly not as a primary fixture in any other story or poem of which I am aware. The use of a raven in the poem "The Raven" was intentional for a couple of reasons but primarily for its legendary representation as an omen of ill tidings. The dark ebony color of the bird also provided a dramatic contrast to the pale and "pallid" bust of Pallas and Poe speaks of this in his "Philosophy of Composition." In it, he details the construction of the poem from conception to conclusion. You may find it very interesting.
If I may be so bold, I would ask you to be judicious in your characterizations of our dear Edgar with your class. Typically, early historical references relative to Poe's character have been rather unkind and it is thought that Rufus W. Griswold, the first compiler/editor and biographer of Poe had much to do with this view. At the time of Poe's death in October of 1849, Griswold and Poe did not hold one another in high esteem and some scholars feel that Griswold significantly exaggerated Poe's darker qualities. Some facts established by Griswold have been found to be utterly baseless.
It was my father that introduced me to Poe but it was my 8th grade English/Literature teacher, Ms. Mary Elliott. that caused my addiction. She assigned me the task of reading and preparing a critique of the "Gold Bug" and I was hooked. She continued to help me with Poe's works through HS and graduation. I shall never be able to repay her for demonstrating, time and again, the unparalleled genius of the man, and his peerless mastery of the written word. This is the more accurate character of Edgar Allan Poe that I have come to see.
Below are four web sites I visit regularly and have found to be most informative. The E.A. Poe Society of Baltimore is a fabulous site that is exquisitely maintained and updated. I hope they help you. Good luck with your classes. I truly hope they come to enjoy Poe's works as much as I.
These URL addresses can be copied and pasted into the address bar of your browser.
American Authors Web Site
American Literary Resources
E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore
Biography of Edgar Allan Poe
-- Anonymous, March 09, 2000