The Raven is a narrative poem that was written by an American writer Edgar Allan Poe. The poem was published for the first time in January 1845. The poem contains eighteen stanzas and each stanza is six lines long. Its meter is trochaic octameter. The poem takes a musical theme with a stylized language.
The poem describes a lonely man who is busy trying to forget his lost love by reading his old books when is interrupted by a tap on the door. A talking raven mysteriously visits the narrator. The narrator is identified as a young scholar who is grieving for his lost love, Lenore. During the conversation, the raven sits on a bust of Pallas. ‘Nevermore’ is the raven’s response to its name when asked by the narrator. At the beginning, narrator is shocked and confused to see a talking raven, but disgusted when it keeps on repeating the same name.
The raven may be prophesying that nevermore the narrator will reconcile with his lover, Lenore. This makes the narrator angry and he calls the raven an ‘evil thing’ and ‘prophet’. Toward the end of the poem, the raven is still sited at the same position and this makes the narrator feel like his soul will forever be constrained under the raven’s shadow and will be freed ‘nevermore’.
Poe shows the undying narrator’s devotion. The narrator shows that it’s hard to forget and stop focusing on lost, but real love. At the beginning of the poem, narrator looks weak and vulnerable, but due to the influence of the raven, the narrator becomes angry and finally goes into madness.
The raven symbolizes a bad omen, hence, it suits the mood of the poem. Use of midnight and December depicts the transition from an old period of life to a new one. This shows the end of the relationship between the narrator and Lenore.