First Read Edgar Allen Poe

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sjschleis
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First Read Edgar Allen Poe

Post by sjschleis » 15 Jan 2014, 21:40

The Raven is deep but need a better understanding of what it means

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Nathrad Sheare
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Post by Nathrad Sheare » 21 Jan 2014, 05:32

The Raven is a 'love lost' poem, for sure. The protagonist is reminded by the presence of his uninvited guest of his bereavement of "that rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore" right away. Yet, this narrative is also about sins, sins we are not told anywhere in the story, but the occurrences of which are suggested by our narrator's fear of the bird. Poe's short story Morella explores a theme we could be looking at here, that of a man's regret over having thought coldly and cruelly against his love before she died, perhaps even so intently as to have brought about her demise for reasons rational only to him. By the fact that the raven doesn't leave him and will never, but is forever to be perched on a bust close to our protagonist's chamber door, we know it can't be merely an animal, but could be an apparition or, more likely, the product of a madman's mind, guilt having hit him so hard that he is now quite literally able to see and hear his conscience nagging him with a single word, "Nevermore."

If you have any more specific questions, sjschleis, I'd be happy to help!
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

-Edgar Allan Poe

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Post by ciewilder » 21 Jan 2014, 20:50

My first read Edgar Allen Poe was "Tell Tale Hearts" I can read it over and over again. I really love this story.

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H0LD0Nthere
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Post by H0LD0Nthere » 21 Jan 2014, 21:28

Good explanation, Nathrad Sheare.

I think there is a connection between "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Raven." Namely, in both cases the narrator IS his own doom. In "The Tell-Tale Heart," he would not have been caught for the murder, but his own near-crazy obsession forces him to reveal it (sorry if no spoilers are allowed). In "The Raven," it's just a bird that has learned only one word from humans: "Nevermore." The narrator knows this. He could ask it any question that he liked, and it would still answer "nevermore." But because of the way his mind is working, he keeps asking it questions about Lenore, whether he will ever see her again, etc. He's not doing it on purpose, of course, or not completely. But he is bouncing off the raven's verbal habit to create his own meaning. Every time the raven repeats the only line it knows, the narrator has a harder and harder time NOT viewing it as an oracle. As Nathrad Sheare says, it's his own guilt and obsession ... but he is using the raven to create the confirmation that he needs -- or fears.

Actually I think this is a great example of how both oracles and ghost stories can actually work. At first, we are just amusing ourselves, "just to see" if there is anything in it, and we are in control of the situation, but the longer we interact with the entity, the less we realize that we are in control. Reminds me of an expose by a carnival fortune-teller I read. She would basically read peoples' verbal and nonverbal cues, then do her best to predict what they were evidently hoping for, or "reveal" what they were evidently already worried about. And I have seen at least one false prophet do the same thing. But I digress.

Gotta say, I'm not completely comfortable with Edgar Allen Poe's constant intertwining of love and morbidity. I don't find it romantic. But, I digress again.

The relentless rhythm of The Raven really gives you a sense that you are going crazy/obsessed with the narrator.

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Post by Katereads » 11 Mar 2014, 11:44

I have always enjoyed The Tell Tale Heart. I enjoy the vivid imagery that Poe creates in this story. I love the tension and how I feel when I am able to imagine how the main character feels when the event is unfolding. This doesn't happen for me often, and when it does I really enjoy the literature.

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Post by Valerie_Joy » 11 Mar 2014, 14:42

The first thing I read by Edgar Allen Poe was Annabel Lee. I love this poem, and I love how he makes it rhyme. The story line behind it is really deep. I just love how he wrote it.

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Post by H0LD0Nthere » 11 Mar 2014, 19:50

Katereads wrote:I have always enjoyed The Tell Tale Heart. I enjoy the vivid imagery that Poe creates in this story. I love the tension and how I feel when I am able to imagine how the main character feels when the event is unfolding. This doesn't happen for me often, and when it does I really enjoy the literature.


Kate, I once went to a drama competition where one contestant had chosen for his monologue "The Tell-Tale Heart." He would put on his specs as he got into his character, give this creepy little grin, shake his head and say, "Yet still you think me mad." It was very effective!

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Post by Nathrad Sheare » 19 Mar 2014, 07:26

The Tell-Tale Heart is a masterful monologue, and I, myself, would like to see it acted someday...
Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who only dream at night.

-Edgar Allan Poe

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Post by JessiFox » 25 Mar 2014, 04:02

The Tell-Tale Heart was my first one, though at the time I didn't even know who Poe was ;).

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Post by PashaRu » 25 Mar 2014, 08:26

The Tell-Tale Heart and The Raven are certainly among his most famous works. (I used to be able to recite The Raven, in its entirety, by heart. Nevermore!) But don't miss other gems such as The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, The Masque of the Red Death, The Purloined Letter.

Unless you're a die-hard Poe fan, I would recommend skipping his only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket. It's meandering and rather tedious, and shows that the short story was a much better forum for him.
[Insert quote here. Read. Raise an eyebrow. Be mildly amused. Rinse & repeat.]

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Post by Genaaa » 03 Oct 2016, 03:20

The first Edgar Allen Poe poem I remember reading was also "The Raven." I remember having to do an assignment or two based purely on this piece.

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Post by hopeh80 » 08 Oct 2016, 22:59

The first Edgar Allen Poe poem that I read was the Tell-Tale Heart. From then on I was hooked. He is truly one of my favorite poets.

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Post by Witty_Read » 21 Oct 2016, 16:26

I highly suggest you check out his work of "The Black Cat". It is pretty straight forward and good for someone just getting into E.A.P, while still providing good insight to his style of writing.

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Post by E-beth » 30 Oct 2016, 01:14

My first Poe poem was also the Tell-Tale Heart. It was for a school assignment. Sence then i've read several of his poems and I feel like he wrote with his soul. I really like all of his poems that I have read.

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Post by Insightsintobooks » 09 Jan 2017, 21:45

I love the Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. I have his complete works.

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