While Poe was popular in America, he was idolized in Europe. Unfortunately the lack of an international copyright law kept him from earning significant amounts of money. The Impressionist artist Edouard Manet painted his version the iconic pic of “The Raven,” with the young man looking up at the raven that sits on the statue of the head of Pallas.
Next Week, Mary, Queen of Scots Rita Bay
Tag Archives: “The Raven”
Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) was a critic, poet, and author known for his tales of mystery and the macabre which were precursors to science fiction. Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts. When his mother died soon after father abandoned the family, he was fostered by the Allan family of Richmond, Virginia. He dropped out of college because of finances, then enlisted in the Army. Given an opportunity to attend West Point, he was expelled because he had decided he wanted out, then failed to perform his duties.
Poe became the first American writer to support himself with his writing. Unfortunately, his literary success did not lead to financial success. He was chronically strapped for funds throughout his life. Known as the “Tomahawk Man,” Poe was feared as a literary critic. He was especially critical of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, even accusing him of plagiarism.
In 1835 Poe married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemm. He was twice her age. (More on her later.) Unable to obtain a position with the government, he worked for a series of magazines and publications. When The Raven published in The Evening Mirror, it was met with immediate popular success. He only received $9 for his work. The lack of pay and the lack of copyright protection for his work left him to live in relative poverty. On October 7, 1849, at the age 40, Poe died in Baltimore. The cause of his death is unknown and the subject of another day’s post. Rita Bay
“The Raven,” a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe, was first published January 29, 1845. The poem, one of the most famous ever written, is about a talking raven’s supernatural visit to a young man’s as he descends into madness lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust talking to the student, the raven heightens his distress with its constant repetition of the word “Nevermore.”
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 visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door —
Only this and nothing more.”
“The Raven,” printed in the New York Evening Mirror, made Poe widely popular in his lifetime but was not financially successful. Poe lived a sad life and died young. To have the whole poem read to you by the famous long-deceased actor, Vincent Price in period costume: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7zR3IDEHrM Be prepared to be scared.
Tomorrow, More on Poe Rita Bay