What is the poem "The Raven" about?

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i am doing a school assignment for English and i need to know as soon as possible what the meaning of the Edgar Allen Poe poem "The Raven" is about? Thank you very much.

-- Anonymous, July 29, 2002


Hello there.. The poem 'the raven' is about a bird.. it was a wonderful bird, it had many colours, blue eyes and it was very pretty. I wish there were still ravens around like it these days, but hunters killed them all for their beautiful colours.

-- Anonymous, August 01, 2002

Your answer is poor. The Raven is about a man sitting in his chamber late at night with the company of his inner insanity for his lost Lenor. Then there is a tapping at his chamber door and when he answers (fearing to answer) there is nothing there and it hints that it is the soul of Lenor. Then a Raven flies in through his window and perches on his palast above his chamber door and he grows insane with it's presence believing it is a thing of the devil come to torture him over his lost Lenore, and the Raven says nothing but "Nevermore" as to say that he pain will never leave and he will alwasy be learched over dim lamplight in the night for evermore.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2002

Your answer was very good. Yes it is about a man wanting his wife (Lenore) back, but it's not a man who thinks the bird is evil. If you read the books about Edgar Allen Poe, you know why he would go insane. Earlier in his life he wrote a poem intitled "Lenore". In that long but suspencful poem he goes insane and buries his wife alive, and in the "Raven" he's haunted by the fact that he did it. He thinks that the bird is a messenger from the devil:-(

-- Anonymous, November 10, 2002


Poem by Edgar Allen Poe (1831)

Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever! Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river; And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore! See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore! Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!- An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young- A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young. "Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride, And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died! How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?" Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong. The sweet Lenore hath "gone before," with Hope, that flew beside, Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy bride. For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies, The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes. "Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven- From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven- From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of Heaven! Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth, Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth! And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise, But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!"

*********that was a very good answer you wrote but i do not think that he killed his wife****************

-- Anonymous, November 18, 2002

: Introduction to Poe R. Moore

Consisting of eighteen six-line stanzas, "The Raven" is told retrospectively by a first-person narrator. The setting throughout is the narrator's chambers at midnight on a bleak December, as the speaker or student lapses between reading an old book and falling asleep. He is aroused by a tapping sound that he presumes to be made by a visitor outside of his room. He does not immediately answer, but tells us that he is in a sorrowful mood because of the death of his lover, the "lost Lenore." He snaps out of these sad thoughts, assures himself that the sound is that of a visitor, he addresses his unknown guest, but finds no one there when he opens the door. Peering into the silent darkness, the student whispers Lenore's name to himself. When he returns to his room, however, the rapping sound resumes and is even louder than before. He now posits that it is merely the wind beating on the shutters of his window. When he opens the shutter, a "stately" Raven appears. It flies to the top of the chamber door and perches upon a bust of Pallas (Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom). The narrator is initially amused by the raven's "grave and stern" looks. He addresses the bird in lofty terms, and asks what its "lordly" name is. The raven responds with the single word "Nevermore." The student marvels at the winged intruder's powers of speech: he hopes to hear more, but the raven's vocabulary is limited to that one word. He reassures himself that the raven will depart in the morning, but the raven seems to oppose this prospect by uttering "nevermore" again. The narrator speculates that the bird was trained to say "nevermore" by some melancholy master. He smiles to himself, but then begins to think about what the raven means by "nevermore." The creature begins to take on demonic qualities in the student's mind as he notes the bird's "fiery eyes." The narrator then connects the bird's appearance and message with the lost Lenore and calls the raven a "wretch" sent by "thy God" to remind him of sorrows that he wants to forget. He now believes that the bird is a "prophet" and asks him whether there is life after death. The reply, of course, is "quoth the Raven, `nevermore'." He repeats the question, this time with specific reference to that "rare and radiant" maiden Lenore, but the response remains the same. The student becomes angry, commands the bird to leave him alone and return to his roost in hell. The raven's "nevermore" is now a strident refusal that the narrator is helpless to counter. In the poem's concluding stanza, the narrator says that the demon-eyed bird is still sitting on the bust above his door, throwing a shadow over his soul. That shadow will never depart, as the narrator himself says that it will be lifted "nevermore."

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-- Anonymous, November 20, 2002

ur all wrong u sacks of poop!!!!

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2003

It is about a man who has no one. A knock on a door scares him and in flies a raven. The man gorws crazy thinking that this thing is the devil here to torture him. The raven says nothing though, but "nevermore."

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2003

There are many different answers about "The Raven". It is about a man who goes nuts at the end because a bird flies in and keeps telling him "Nevermore". Nevermore could mean that he will never see his lost Lenore again or that he will never feel love again or that he is never going to be sane again. Some say that the Raven is a bird that escaped from its master and then flies into the mans room and says Nevermore because he doesn't want to go back to his master. It can also be that its master taught him this word. Oh well I have more to say but I have to go work on my project about "The Raven".

-- Anonymous, March 19, 2003

The Raven is a poem about a lonely man who sits in his bedroom trying to forget about his lost love named Lenore. He hears a tapping and assumes it is at his door like any other person would, and gathers up enough coruage to look. There is nothin there, and then he hears it again, and it is at his window lattice. Well he is very amused and suprised when this "stately" raven walks in like he owns the place. He sits on the bust of Pallas(Athena, greek god of wisdom). The reader might assume that the bird is very wise, because Athena used to have an owl perch above her. The man must have guessed this too, because he starts to ask the raven questions to no avail except the answer "nevermore". The man was happy that the bird was there, though, because he wasn't alone anymore(even if it was a bird) Eventually the man starts to get angry at the raven, but continues to ask him questions. The man thinks that the bird came from a master that taught him the word nevermore. I think that the bird is a sign of death going from person to person, and he wont leave until they are dead. One thing I did not understand in this poem is why the man gets so mad at the raven. The man is the one conjurring up all of these stories. In conclusion, I think this poem had a lot of deeper meanings and it would help if you read it...

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2003

I believe the poem "The Raven" can be seen as an allegory. So, yes, i agree with everyone elses answers (intelligent ones anyway.) But i also believe that The Raven sybolizes humanities need to express themselves using different things to direct their feelings toward. Just as the man did with the Raven. I also do not believe the Raven sybolized anything evil, although i think it may have represented the mans agony for his wife, and possibly hers for him. The Raven can be seen on a lot of different levels in a lot of different ways. Honestly, it depends on how you trully feel about the poem, and how your point of view plays into it.=)

-- Anonymous, April 22, 2003

Some of you had great answers. A lot of you had your own opinions about the poem. I think that he went insane because he lost "Lenore".He was feeling great pain about loosing her so when there came a tapping and there was no one there, he started to go insane thinking it was his long lost Lenore. And yes, I too think that he thought the bird was evil. And NO it wasn't a bird of many colors!!!!!

-- Anonymous, May 27, 2003

i dont know what this poem is about... hahah... you all suck ass

-- Anonymous, June 01, 2003

Something else that is interesting to keep in mind is the fact that the bird lands on a bust of Pallas. Pallas was the daughter of the Greek god Jupiter. Jupiter made the future know through the flight of birds (*cough* Raven *cough*). So therefore this man sees this bird perched on a sculpture of Jupiter's daughter thinking that it is here to fortell the future.

Him killing his wife also does make sense to an extent because he asks the bird if he will again see Lenore in Aidenn, to which the bird responds "Nevermore." Nevermore literally means "at no future time."

Just some thoughts.

-- Anonymous, June 08, 2003

Once upon a midnight-dreary while (FART) Whop's) I pondered Weak and weary of many (QUUUEF) Opp's So Sorry about that.................................................................. ...................................................................... ...................................FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT TTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!

-- Anonymous, June 19, 2003

Nevermore - will his life be the same

-- Anonymous, June 22, 2003

I can see that some of us are a little more insighted than the others. Some need to expand their horizons, I think to few people appriciate the works of great minds. I'm afraid that some of you have watched a little to many Simpsons episodes. Get away from the boob tube and read. Your mind is a terrible thing to waste. The idea behind reading is to expand your imagination, to explore your self your own thoughts. If you could put your thoughts on paper as some of the great poets and writers have you would understand what is truly written.

Expand your horizons and read a good book today.

-- Anonymous, July 04, 2003

the poem statrs out whith this person reading a book and to my beliefs trying to understand all of its meaning, but i think the book is a metaphore of just what he him self is think from the title of the book "forgetten lore." he bacame lost in his thoughts, and when he was almost asleep, he heard someone knocking at his door. being scared by it at first, and think horrible thoughts that no morttal dare dream, he conjured up enough courage, to believe that it is just a person wandering through the night. so he answers the door, to find no one but the wispering sound of Lenore. which he sais to him self, and hears its echo. so closes the door fearing more of what else is to happen. he hears the rapping again louder, on his window, and thinks its the wind, so he opens it, and in flys the raven. the man is happy to see the raven because he is no longer alone. so he askes the bird a question of what his name is. by now you should know the answer but if not its Nevermore, this and only this the raven sais. the man ponders whay a bird or beast would have that name. he then sais other friends have flown before-on the morrow he will leave me as my hopes have flown before. asking the bird will you leave by morning? nevermore sais the raven. he then gets in- raged from the bird and like in the simpsons he does climb the curtins trying to get the bird above his chamber door "Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-" he dosent get the bird, but wonders what it means by nevermore. he dosent get the brid to move or speak anything other then nevermore. in the end he finds that he is lieing on the ground with his solefloating never to be lifted nevermore. i believe that he is just very depresed about loosing his Lenore, and tries to find an answer in this prophet bird, but the bird dosent tell him anything. i believe he then kills him self noing that the will never see nore get rid of this bird. so the question is did he kill Lenore, and the raven was her sole coming back for revenge? or just a crazy man thinking the bird was real but it was just him asking and answering his own questions, driving himself to death? i think you take what you want from the poem, and thats your beliefs. i think that any poet, or writer, unless told other wise, is letting you take what you want.

-- Anonymous, July 16, 2003

The raven is about a man who hears a tapping at his door he is scared to answer it but he goes and he finds that there is nothing there but he thinks it is his wife lenore. then a raven flies int he window and it is scaring him. he thinks it is the devil or something. I <3 BoOnIs! mwa hun

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2003

OMg lisa i luv u too! the raven is about a man who falls in love with lisa! i luv this girl she is my life! MWA HUNA! BOONIS IS SO CUTE! hahahahahahha u know im cool omg so many insiders i luvvvvvvv u!

-- Anonymous, September 22, 2003

having not read any other of his work- i can't use past poems as examples of the technicalities of the piece. but i can see that imagery & repetition is a big part of the power the poem contains. he repeats on the "tapping" & "rapping" - the single word spoken by the raven "nevermore",there's a distinct pattern with the continual repition of "shadows", "whispers" & "ghosts" - which might allude to the characters frame of mind- possible paranoia here - it can't just be as simple as "sorrow for the lost Lenore" . mentionings of "god", "angels", "prophets" & "devils" - allude again to his state of mind. the fact that the bust is chosen to perch on by the raven, is also a telling factor, & that it was the bust of pallas athene- not juno/hera, mars/ares - or an actual person is important too. the "forgotten lore" that's mentioned might also hold clues.

having also seen the simpsons version helps me position myself to observe maybe the physical presence of characters within the story - but in truth all poetry- even in the simplest form ;holds complex & hidden meanings - read it thru again- look where he repeats, what he repeats, how he repeats - look at the imagery, the symbolism. i know i said at the beginning about previous works helping you with the technacalities- but you need to work out the curiosites within this poem alone to understand it merits- sorry i can't be of more help.

-- Anonymous, September 27, 2003

Poe's a great writer but lived as a tragic figure... I personally don't like ravens~ they are bad omens, sympoblic for death (just being superstitious)-__- I'll get pissed if a raven fly to my house~

-- Anonymous, November 04, 2003

The Raven i believe could have many interpertations and I believe even Poe himself would say that. A person can read the poem many times and come up with a different anwser each time. Poe sets the scene first saying its midnight and december both cold times but also the ending of something. The bird lands on pallas which is the greek god of wisdom and since the narriter is in his half sleep state he believes that the bird landing on the furniture is a sign that he'll get some information. I believe that the raven represent death who is tapping at his door,

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003


-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

I actually, thought that the poem meant the same as all of you..Before I studied it and got the in sight from a very opinionated teacher of mine..

It does make sense, so here it is.

The person in the poem is DEAD. As you can see when he opens the door and there is "Darkness there, and NOTHING more."

But then, he whispers and the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?" - This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore! -

Do you notice the exclamation points? He is asking a question when he whispers Lenore. But when the "echo" comes back, it is a statement. There is something else out there, he is not alone.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

He is afraid. He knows he killed her, and does not want to go to hell.

The bird perched above the bust of pallus because pallus is the greek God of Wisedom, and the damn bird is rubbing it into the face of the man that he knows something you dont know!

He knows the man is dead, (in purgatory) and NEVER AGAIN will he kill. You see, he had been making a habbit of killing. And Lenore, the MAIDEN (which is a single vigrin girl) is one that killed him. So, in reality, he is the dead one, and she is the alive one.

Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore- Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

The Nightly shore symbolizes hell. He wants to know who sent him, is he devil, or just a demon come to terrrize him. What is he called in hell, basically.

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door- Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore."

This just reiterates that he is DEAD. No other LIVING person has ever seen this devil bird above THIER chamber door.

Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee- by these angels he hath sent thee Respite- respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

He's getting a tad bit crazy now. a seraphim is a army of angels on horseback descending from heaven. And he thinks that maybe God has sent the possesed bird. Respite, and nepenthe, basically he wants to forget the lost Lenore. Stop reminding him of her.

I've gotta go to school, actually. I'll finish this later

-- Anonymous, November 19, 2003

the Raven is in some way a sequel to Lenor, but it also has meaning in poes real life. Poes young wife got tuberculosis and was dieing, so when poe talks about "burying his wife alive" in a way he is refering to her slowly dieing of the lung disease, And everyday he had to slowly bury her...also when poe wrote he would use things that really occured in his life. it is known that Poe drank heavily and often smoked Opium. late one night after he has passed out he awakens to a noise, know the raven was all in his imagination and his subconsience created the raven . so when poe talks of lenore the raven says nevermore. because never again shall he be happy

-- Anonymous, December 02, 2003

a point to note: the raven perches "above" the bust of Pallus. could this imply the raven (and it's knowledge) exists in a higher state or conciousness than that of the tormented narrator? perhaps (alluding to elliptical time) the narrator is frozen in a pergatorial time-loop of torment and the raven represents outside time (therefore time flowing normally). with "nevermore" defined as "at no future time", "nevermore" spoken in this context would bespeak eternity for the narrator (his time-loop being incapable of even the concept of "future" itself, relative to his point of view), hence his own purpetual hell. this private limbo is pretty much established in the "feel" of the poem, hmmmn? watch "the others" with nicole kidman. surely the director read (and interpreted) "the raven" (the poem) in this light? of course, maybe we're ALL reading too much into this, eh? literary study REQUIRES a LACK of COMPREHENSION, otherwise a lot of english teachers would be out of a job, don't you think? Shhhhh!! they KNOW this!!

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2004

yall wrong edeger allan poe is my great great great daddy ..sooo shut u mouths...grrrrrrrrrr20

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2004

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