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

Where did Edgar Allan Poe's get the idea for the raven

-- Anonymous, March 15, 2001



In his essay "The Philosophy of Composition", Poe created a written schematic, element by element, for the construction of his poem, "The Raven". Many people feel this essay is a tongue in cheek description of his methods and while this may be true, many of his poetic principles are discussed at length and, rather frankly. Since he repeated them often, it must be presumed he believed in them.

The story conveyed by the poem appears to reflect Poe's anticipated loss of his beloved wife, Virginia. The poem was published in January 1845 and by then, his wife had been ill with tuberculosis for sometime. Her condition was cyclic and while she would periodically show signs of improving, inevitably, her health would decline only to begin the cycle again. This was sheer agony for Poe and while the poem may not be about Virginia, it was certainly about the despair and desperation one must feel for the loss of a loved one. I say this only because the poem does not indicate that the narrator and Lenore were ever married, it is just presumed.

You can read this essay at


-- Anonymous, March 16, 2001

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