Summary of Ravengreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
I would like to know what the Raven means? What does it symbolize? What is the general concept of the Raven?
-- Anonymous, July 07, 2003
Best to start with Poe's own explanation "The Philosophy of Composition" which is a bit tongue in cheek. Sorting that out he is likely sincere in saying he started with the raven as an emblem of a mournful and neverending remembrance. Remembrance of the lost Lenore, to be specific, from which there is no escape or comfort as his mind goes in hopeless circles with his own contrived conversation with the set response "Nevermore".
Poe is less sincere in the mechanics of his poem and leaves out sources otherwise touted in disguised self-criticism as the literary critic nemesis "Outis". These works can be found at www.eapoe.org. On the other hand Poe IS trying to dispel the legend of super dark inspiration and madness and trying to assert his objective artfulness. Safe to say he is right in trying to right the balance, but he can't deny the high emotional passion behind his work.
-- Anonymous, July 09, 2003