Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever!
Let the bell toll!- a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river;
And, Guy de Vere, hast thou no tear?- weep now or nevermore!
See! on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore!
Come! let the burial rite be read- the funeral song be sung!-
An anthem for the queenliest dead that ever died so young-
A dirge for her the doubly dead in that she died so young.

“Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her- that she died!
How shall the ritual, then, be read?- the requiem how be sung
By you- by yours, the evil eye,- by yours, the slanderous tongue
That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?”

Peccavimus; but rave not thus! and let a Sabbath song
Go up to God so solemnly the dead may feel no wrong.
The sweet Lenore hath “gone before,” with Hope, that flew beside,
Leaving thee wild for the dear child that should have been thy
bride.
For her, the fair and debonair, that now so lowly lies,
The life upon her yellow hair but not within her eyes
The life still there, upon her hair- the death upon her eyes.

“Avaunt! avaunt! from fiends below, the indignant ghost is riven-
From Hell unto a high estate far up within the Heaven-
From grief and groan, to a golden throne, beside the King of
Heaven!
Let no bell toll, then,- lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth,
Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned Earth!
And I!- to-night my heart is light!- no dirge will I upraise,
But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!”

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edgar Allan Poe's poem Lenore

17 Comments

  1. mr a says:

    this poem is my fav A

  2. Stephanie says:

    Lenore could refer to his wife. Lenore means ‘Helen’ in some other language, and also means ‘light’. He could be refering to the darkness he was left in after his wife died. Afterall, he wrote another poem entitled ‘Lenore’, which he used to cover up his wife’s real name.
    The raven, black as it is, sitting on top of an influential Greek goddess or something, symbolises the blackness he is left in and he truly becomes as black as the raven’s shadow.
    ‘Nevermore’ is the only word that the raven knows. The narrator in the poem understands this, that’s why he decides that it is impossible to hold a conversation with the bird later in the poem.

  3. Bria Isbell says:

    In the first paragraph, the narrorater makes a direct connection to The Raven, “weep now, or never more”, the total meening in genral, what the cursed bird was telling the narrorater in the first place with its constant, almost enoying, saying “Nevermore”.
    Then it goes on to talk about Lenor’s inocent demeaner, and her total Glory in Death. The jelosy her opposers faceed her with in life should be a lesser in comparison to the jelosy they should have of her Glory in Death. Now she is in a “high estate of heaven”

    If you’ve ever experenced the utter emptyness the narroater(Poe) felt, the utter hopelessness and devistation one will suffer when his/her entier world comes to a dead freez in time and reality, then this poem makes total sence. If not, however, the feeling is left to the readers imagination. Luckly, Poe provides WONDERFUL details, imagry, and disription, and thats what makes this a good poem. Its easy to feel epathy.

    The Madd Hatter asked “How is a raven like a writing desk?”
    The answer is, Poe wrote on both!;)

  4. shane says:

    It is quite clear to me that Poe is questioning God and is wondering why God would take her away from him.

  5. Stevan Fallon Dunn says:

    …See The Raven Posted Comments.

    …Leore is some Love before his cousin Virgina, a lost love…be dead or alive. Poetic license allows use of death even when it is only poetic. He wrote Lenore the year he moved into Maria and Virgina Clemm’s home, 1831. The lines ‘The sweet Lenore hath “gone before” with Hope, that flew beside, Leaving thee WILD for THE DEAR CHILD (Virgina) that should have been thy bride.” Poe removes himself from first person, and writes as if the Heaven’s have bestowed “the dear child’ as his future bride….which did occur.

    Lenore, finally is forgotten…as Virgina (1843-1844) lay suffering the consumption.

    The dark side of Poe’s soul, The Shadow of the Raven, and Lenore….are both to be ‘Nevermore’, as he writes in ‘The Raven’…….he clears all up with Virgina shortly before his death. i.e. Annabel Lee.

    I added a little conundrum here, in the cross reference posted your poetry site, with ‘The Raven’……..easier than the Times crossword puzzle, though. Read Annabel lee, Lenore, and The Raven……for the answer.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’m not an Literature major, but I think you all miss one thing. Lenore was written in 1831. Poe married his 13 year old cousin in 1836 and lost her in 1847. People blame his depression on her death, but my question becomes: Who was lenore??

  7. Jess says:

    Yes while most people can look past wealth and whatnot to see someones inner worth not everyone can and especially in the times that Poe wrote alot of who you were was based on your wealth and looks. Also Poe probably meant that while people thought that they knew her they never tried to know the deeper inner person, the parts of Lenore that she didn’t show to just everybody but only to those she trusted to be herself around. While Lenore was wealthy Poe saw that she was more than money as many people did not and only saw her cash but she was truly just a good person and in this poem Poe tries to express that there will never be another like her.
    Just my thoughts.

  8. sleeper says:

    I don’t think Lenore was as good-hearted as Poe describes her. Most people can look beyond wealth and beauty to see what someone is truly made of. I think Poe is using this as a sheild against the common people to prove his point that no one truly knew her.

    Just a thought.

  9. AlethiaMS says:

    This is a wonderful poem, which reflects a lot of things that, as most of you have said, have important similarities to Poe’s life. I myself read this poem after watching the Flash animations based on Roman Dirge’s comics, which, as “none of your business” said, it a must read/watch.

    I truly love this poem, sad as it may be. Especially the last few lines, where he refuses to sing a dirge or toll a bell, lest her soul wander off for good. Is awesome. Poe is awesome.

  10. crystal says:

    i love edgar allen poes work especialy this poem it is quite beatiful

  11. jenn says:

    i totally agree with you, country art – all of poe’s poems are autobiographical and he would have nothing if he hadn’t experienced what he had…

  12. Country Art says:

    Lenore is a wonderful poem. It is sad and reflects Poe’s true personality, the love and loss as well as depression from those things he holds to be his inspiration. Would Poe be as good of a writer if he had not suferred? Most writers are good because of their emotional detachment and ability to capture the truley gruesome and somehow put it into words. THey write what they feel and what they felt in the inital suffering. To say that poe was nothing but a Drug addict would be cutting down a poetic master mind. He is the father of horror stories and teen angst. Drugs only helped to intensify his feelings of pain and intensify his writing as well as allowed him to show the world his pain and let them feel it too. So don’t criticize those who have the courage and talent to write works of art that can make others feel their emotions from a cold pieve of paper.

  13. None of your business says:

    It’s strange that none of you haven’t even mentioned any concrete examples from Poe’s life. Of course his poems have resemblences with the life he lived, every work of art has some kind of connection to the artist. Inspiration comes from within, and the only way to personlize artwork is to find a style that appeals to you. The most famous artists all have their way of seeing things, their own belives and thoughts, and these things are visible in their creations. The same goes for Poe.

    As you probably know, Poe was a very depressed person, mentally unstable and abused both drugs and alcohol. He married his 13-year old cousin (Virginia) in 1836, she busted a blood vessel in 1842, became invalidized, and died of tuberculosis in 1847.
    These incidents (among other things) colored his artwork greatly. In many of his poems you can draw paralells between the tragic fate of his beloved cousin/wife, and the fate of the girl he wrote about in his poems, Lenore(btw, he chose this name because it rhymes with “nevermore”). And for those who didn’t know, Lenore has also become a comicbook character, produced by Roman Dirge, I recommend it strongly to anyone who likes poe’s dark, yet tragic compossisons.

    One more thing. We do not, I repeat, do not have polarbears in sweden, nor do we have penguins, they live on opposite ends of the earth, ffs! Is that clear?!

  14. Brecht says:

    Jaquise, you clearly know shit about art! What is your business on this site of the web anyway? Shouldn’t you be downloading porn or something? Lenor is a magnificent poem! This woman that died reminds me of a very good friend of mine who also died too young! She even fits te dscription.

  15. sebastian aulenbach says:

    when i showed this to my sister she cried. when a poet can make a person cry. they truly have a gift.

  16. jamesprestonevans says:

    I am not qualified to judge genius. He loved women ( a women ) very much. But he was not comfortable with women. It is because he loved and adored them that the result was always tragic. The man was a genius out of his element. Genuises are especially susceptible to women because they worship the ideal. You can feel the love and the heartbreak in Poe’s life, which is the work he has teased and challenged and captivated us with. Lenore – Forever More.

  17. Jeremy says:

    This is a great poem. Here he’s saying that everyone loved her for her possessions and wealth while he loved her for her beauty and personality. They wanted her dead and now she is. The name Lenore appears occassionally throughout Poe’s poems. The Raven was the last one it appeared in, as Poe died soon after it’s relase to the papers. You can’t dislike him for repeating the name, you have to understand he’s in great distress and grief. Not to mention depression. He was married once, and after his wife died, he fell into great sadness and sorrow. From which his works emerge. He’s not making this stuff up. It’s coming from experience. So you really have to understand what you’re reading when you’re reading his works. Put yourself in his shoes, feel what he feels. You’ll come to understand it alot better and more fully.

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