Poem Significance

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I am doing a report on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" and I don't know the significance of the poem itself. Nor what the poem's significance to society or future literature might be. Can anyone help me out? Why was the poem so important besides that it was a good poem?

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2004


Try Poe's own "The philosophy of Composition" at eapoe.org where he uses the Raven poem as an example of his theories and practice. He communicates to the masses in a widely popular work the moods and emotions of dark romanticism in a form more profound and less clogged with devices than other less acvcessible poets. The poem rides on its musicality and simplicity with a suggestion only of the supernatural with in the greater horror of a crumbling mind. it has plot dialogue(of sorts) and characterization and is the most popular conveyor of typical Poe themes(though many people might cognitively miss the meanings if not the mood).

It set a precedent for American poetry in being the first great transoceanic hit. It has been parodied, tranlated all over. The poem obsesses on the accidentally providential symbol(emblem) of the raven, an everlasting and mournful remembrance with no breath of life and hope in the bond to the lost Lenore. The bird is the means by which the narrator destroys his illsuions of hope, an unchanging finality of "nevermore" that is symbolic of death itself.

Unlike other poets who expound the idea, or relay a tale or expand flowery imagery, Poe gets to the feeling alone stripped of all that in the end, actually better achieving the strange and wild emotion than those Romantics using ghost stories or long symbolic epics.

-- Anonymous, February 06, 2004

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