Edgar Allan Poe

(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849 / Boston)

The Raven - Poem by Edgar Allan Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
''Tis some visitor,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
''Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more.'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
'Sir,' said I, 'or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you'- here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, 'Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, 'Lenore!'-
Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice:
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore-
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;-
'Tis the wind and nothing more.'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door-
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door-
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no
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.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning- little relevancy bore;
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.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, 'other friends have flown
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, 'Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
'Doubtless,' said I, 'what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of 'Never- nevermore'.'

But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking 'Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
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.'

'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil!- prophet still, if bird or
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted-
On this home by horror haunted- tell me truly, I implore-
Is there- is there balm in Gilead?- tell me- tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'

'Prophet!' said I, 'thing of evil- prophet still, if bird or
By that Heaven that bends above us- by that God we both adore-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.'
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'

'Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend,' I shrieked,
'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!- quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted- nevermore!

Comments about The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

  • (3/19/2018 2:50:00 AM)

    Edgar Allan Poe Raven i thought i heard why are you doing this to me // or at least i thought i did
    the lamplight / 10 million moths well maybe not that many their fluttering aroung the street light the wake of dawn //when i knew not //
    (Report) Reply

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  • (3/6/2018 5:09:00 AM)

    niggity niggity nig nig niggity niggity niggity nig (Report) Reply

  • (2/23/2018 1:28:00 PM)

    uhuhuhuhuhuhuuhuhuh i pee out of my (Report) Reply

  • (2/6/2018 6:40:00 AM)

    Forever more Wemon be tapping my chamber door (Report) Reply

  • Mary Skarpathiotaki (1/23/2018 4:37:00 AM)

    This is my favorite poems! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! I vote 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (Report) Reply

  • (12/3/2017 7:46:00 AM)

    one can love the content yet find the rhythm du du du du du du du du too much. actors and public reciters must think, play around with it or die (Report) Reply

  • (12/3/2017 7:44:00 AM)

    one can love the content but find the form yawn-making. The rhythm is du du du du du du du du from start to finish.Actors and public reciters must think, play around with it or die (Report) Reply

  • (11/9/2017 3:11:00 AM)

    Life my friend and yes he sees it
    as an ever present prancer
    on the heart yet gives no answer
    (Report) Reply

  • Valentin Savin (10/15/2017 8:21:00 AM)

    I love the poem and I translated it into the Russian language. (Report) Reply

    (12/6/2017 10:46:00 AM)

    thats sad dude

  • Rishabh Mishra Amorist (9/29/2017 8:18:00 AM)

    The best darkest poet of the time.Love his writings, such a mysterious person and hath struggled throughout.
    Very much disturbed when I learnt about his life and works, but yet inspiring.
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2017 11:44:00 PM)

    Edgar Allan Poe: the greatest american writer of all times. A genius, like Baudelaire, Hugo or Tcheckhov. (Report) Reply

  • (5/14/2017 2:41:00 PM)

    I can feel the dolor of the poet in his poem, the raven being dark is a representation of the dark and moody atmosphere of the poem. The raven reminds him of his most grievous memories. Great poem (Report) Reply

    Joe Baines (5/26/2017 5:55:00 AM)

    jump off a cliff

  • (4/6/2017 4:25:00 PM)

    can anyone give me the exact explannation of this poem lpease (Report) Reply

    (9/4/2017 4:09:00 PM)

    The Raven is a representation of darkness/depression/grief, the narrator lost his love (Lenore): ergo he is grief stricken, depressed, etc... The Raven is a physical manifestation of those feelings.

    Joe Baines (5/26/2017 5:55:00 AM)


  • (4/3/2017 4:27:00 AM)

    word perfectly crafted. (Report) Reply

  • John Zwerenz (10/11/2016 11:17:00 AM)

    Genius, Poetry And Madness
    Perhaps my favorite companion in the ethereal world of poetry, Edgar Allan Poe in his masterpiece The Raven illustrates in verse what it is to go mad. And Poe knew madness, true madness as well as genius. The poem is an excellent example of how madness begins and progresses to the point of a profound and deadly psychosis. The bird in the poem merely repeats the word nevermore much as a parrot speaks nonsense. Albeit the word is nonsense, it is repeated. The madness of the poem's narrator begins when he starts to attach meaning to the bird's meaningless repetition. He begins asking the raven questions concerning his lost, assumed dead lover. His mind constructs a web of imaginative narratives that become more and more complex and neurotic until he is convinced this insipid bird possesses knowledge of these very personal, baleful, dark but important matters. The climax of the narrator's insanity ends with him lying prostrate on the floor in a state of despair which shall nevermore be broken by time or eternity. Such is the course of much of the psychotic progression of a manic depressive psychotic episode, whether the sufferer is depressed or in a mixed state. Mr. Poe and I have walked down the same path. And many more times than he nor myself would like to think of.
    John Lars Zwerenz
    (Report) Reply

    (11/19/2017 2:11:00 PM)

    Your words are a great comfort to me knowing that other people have a relation with this poem like I do. To me it is an autobiography.

  • (9/11/2016 10:21:00 PM)

    Holy diversionary tactics Batman.' 'The perils of prophecy, my friend.' (Report) Reply

  • (9/11/2016 11:10:00 AM)

    I Love this works. Truely a favorite! (Report) Reply

  • Mizzy ........ (9/11/2016 3:35:00 AM)

    Brilliant wordsmanship creating dark ghostly imagery...... (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A (9/11/2016 2:10:00 AM)

    Raven in the night knocking the door and coming through the window into the room and replying for all questions with the word - Nevermore is indeed an omen! What an elaborate narration of fear in the night loneliness by Edgar Allan Poe is wonderful poem! (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (9/11/2016 12:28:00 AM)

    From the Nightly shore! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: raven, sorrow, evil, sad, lost, purple, lonely, silence, remember, dream, heaven, home, hope, wind, angel, fear, friend, memory, smile

Poem Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Poem Edited: Thursday, January 19, 2012

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