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, fearing,
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 flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
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 craven,
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 before –
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 door;
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 devil! –
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 devil!
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, upstarting –
“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 door!”
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 floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted – nevermore!

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


  1. Mons says:

    Poe rocks :)like his style

  2. Yannick says:

    Fantastic poem, really marvelous. Love to read more of Edgar Allen Poe.

  3. Sean Lennon says:

    Lenore’s identity is bound with Guy de Vere’s. If Guy de Vere be the Irish poet contemporary of Poe, Sir Aubrey de Vere Hunt, then there can be little doubt that “Lenore” is faith, and the raven is telling Edgar Allan Poe the atheist that he can never hope to clasp her again.

  4. mahima says:

    i like the poet’s way of presenting the poem in a beautiful manner but ya it’s a fact that the poem was a bit long but it was intresting while reading. i can say that if i have to rate this poem i will give 3 stars to it i think it was presented well and i will not say it was an execellent poem but it was a good poem i liked it!!!!

  5. alex says:

    this rocks
    it’s just so damm good
    the envirmont is so good
    did sombody seen the simpsons episode of this?

  6. Zahra khan says:

    the poem is great and superb,i like its really outstanding.

  7. Kevin says:

    “Once upon a midnight dreary, while i pondered, weak and weary” (The Raven, 1). That sounds like me trying to write a literary analysis essay on this poem. We have also had to do some poetry writing in my english class and if you don’t appreciate this poem or even if you do try writing some poetry of your own and then you can appreciate how good this Poe guy really is.

  8. kalegih church says:

    omg i love this poem ny you. i go to harrison central high school and im on the colorguard team and they picked your poems that we did our show on. you are very creative.

  9. Cayla says:

    Although the Raven was written years before Virginia died, Poe knew she would die eventually and wrote the Raven as a premonition of his wife’s inevitable death, not in a drunken delirium or as a recurring dream – more of a foreshadowing nightmare. Poe’s mother and stepmother had already died of TB, and he knew it was a death sentence.

  10. Paul says:

    This poem is really amazing. Some poets of my country have tried to translate it into Portuguese but I didn’t like it. Nothing compares to the original poe’s work. I don’t know what the poem really means, perhaps we will never figure out but evertime I read (the Original) The Raven, I feel bad…

  11. Stevan Fallon Dunn says:

    See ‘Lenore’ poem comment……..then seek solace within ‘Annabel Lee’

  12. Stevan Fallon Dunn says:

    Good point that ‘Lenore’ was written in 1831, but Poe met Virgina Clemm, his future wife, early in her life…and returned to his aunt’s (Maria Clemm) home in 1831…Virgina was seven at the time. He Married Virgina Clemm (at age 13) in 1836. Virgina did not show signs of cunsumption until 1843…Died January 30, 1847….The raven was published in 1844…both ‘Lenore” and ‘The Raven’ could have direct relationship to Virgina…as first ‘Lenore’, could be premonition of the early death of Virgina (cunsuption ran in the family), and ‘The Raven’ as a drunken delirium, repeating dream….a result of his drinking (an attempt to escape his Virgina’s consumption and her eventual death….[the escape through alcohol…and most likely cocaine (as it was ‘In Vogue’), worked in reverse….obviously]….anyway….’The Raven’s’ shadow, as you should notice, is Edgar’s soul….and at the end you will notice the Raven is still in the same place it always was….”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 lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted–nevermore” The Raven that cries nevermore is not a raven at all, but ‘The Shadow’ of the Raven that IS the soul of Poe…and the last line is Poe’s resolve that he has come to peace with himself (his soul) and ‘Lenore’s’ death will be….and he will go on and cease dealing with the face and the darkness of his soul evermore…..”And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor… Shall be lifted (from the depths of Hell)-nevermore.” Check Annabel for cross relationship. And then some Poe Prose.

  13. Helen says:

    The raven symbolizes gloom, despair, hopelessness, depression, doom …

  14. gunground says:

    i see most people have a misunderstanding of the poem (no offfense) but as far as i know this is what the poem is really about.
    First he mourns his dead wife,then he hears the rapping and mistakens it for the ghost of his wife,trying to calm himself saying just a visitor. After the raven gets in he tells him to stop mourning his wife,but the guy is stubborn and says no. And,if you reread and clarify the last paragraph right,he will actually be saying that since that he will not be lifted to heaven no more. Awesome poem 🙂

  15. bigzack says:

    tell me what the raven symbolizes

  16. joesph says:

    nice poem

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