“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe

“The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe is certainly the best poem that has ever existed. The poem tells a story about the encounter of man and a raven with the help of vivid imagery, effective sound devices, and a notable theme to make it the greatest poem ever created. It is a magnificent piece of art that tackles death, grief, and love, which are all a part of Edgar Allan Poe’s area of expertise.

Poe had a talent for using vivid imagery to make his poems much more appealing to the reader. In the poem he wrote, “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 lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor.” He verbally illustrated the raven in much detail to enable the reader to envision the raven as a frightening beast. In addition, Poe used personification to bring inanimate objects to life.  For instance, he wrote, “And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor,” to describe the logs burning in his fireplace. He associated ghosts with a burning piece of ember. This piece of imagery not only allows the reader to imagine the ember, it also contributes to the dark and melancholic tone of the poem.

Furthermore, Poe utilized various sound devices as a method to make the poem more captivating for the reader. Rhyme and rhythm are key elements to a poem, and they are abundant throughout “The Raven”. For example, Poe included various words that end with “-ore,” which emphasize the words “Nevermore,” and “Lenore.” The rhymes are an effective tool as the words “Nevermore,” and “Lenore” are important in expressing the meaning and theme of the poem. Additionally, all 18 stanzas have the same rhyme scheme of ABCBBB. This repetitive flow allows the reader to stay engaged as it makes the poem musically enticing and easy to follow.

Poe also used alliteration when he wrote, “And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain.” The sound of the letter “s” is reiterated, even in the words “uncertain,” as well as “rustling.” This is a brilliant use of alliteration, since it is also a form of onomatopoeia. The repeated “s” sounds imitate the “rustling” noises of the curtain. This enables the reader to visualize and hear it in their mind, making the combined use of

alliteration and onomatopoeia very unique and effective.

The main idea and theme portrayed in the poem is the hurt that is caused by the death of a loved one. The poem beautifully conveyed this by telling a story about a man who was still coping from the passing of his beloved “Lenore.” He heard a tapping on his door, and was unexpectedly greeted by a talking raven. He began to ask questions to the raven regarding Lenore, however the raven would only respond with “Nevermore.” As a result, the man became frustrated and called the raven “a thing of evil.” He continues to irrationally ask the raven questions about Lenore, knowing very well that the answer will be “Nevermore.” He even shouts, “Leave my loneliness unbroken!–quit the bust above my door!/ Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” which truly displays the grief that he was feeling.

It is entirely possible that the raven was just a figment of his imagination. As bizarre as it all sounds, Poe superbly demonstrated the grief, madness, irrational behaviour, and borderline insanity that is caused by the death of a loved one. This is a universally relatable subject, as almost every living thing will or has experienced a death of a loved one. Poes unique way of expressing this idea through a scenario involving a man and a bird is genuinely astonishing, and is one of the main reasons why it makes the poem the greatest of all time.

Conclusively, in the poem “The Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe exploited several tactics in order to encompass all the characteristics required to make an overall amazing poem. He implemented vivid imagery, catchy rhymes and rhythms, keen use of alliteration/onomatopoeia, and a special approach of conveying the theme in his poem. These ingredients are what makes “The Raven” the best poem to ever exist.