Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is an intriguing narrative poem. It was published in January 1845 and is noted for its musicality, stylized language, and eerie atmosphere. It tells the story of a mysterious visit from a talking raven to a lover.
The Raven is written in a poetic form called stanzas. Its lines are each composed of 16 syllables and are typically eight feet long. The poem deviates from this structure in some parts, however. A stanza is made up of five 16-syllable lines, which are separated by a half-line of seven syllables. This half-line is the refrain and always rhymes with “Nevermore.” Poe also masterfully uses alliteration, which contributes to the poem’s creepy tone.
Ravens are mentioned in many myths and stories, including those about the death of a loved one. One ancient poem describes a man who mourns his beloved and opens a window shutter to see a raven sitting on a bust of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.
In another poem, a raven enters a narrator’s chamber, where he sits in a chair in front of it. The narrator calls to the raven to leave, but the raven answers with “nevermore”.