The Raven (Poe)

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The Raven
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Summary of the Poem
Microsummary: A grieving man encountered a talking raven that repeatedly uttered "Nevermore." The bird's ominous message agitated him, leading to the realization that he would never escape his sorrow.

One night, a man was sitting alone in his room, feeling weak and weary while reading old books. He was trying to forget his sorrow for his lost love, Lenore.

The Narrator — a man mourning the loss of his love Lenore; tormented by grief and the raven's presence; introspective, emotional, and desperate.

Suddenly, he heard a tapping sound at his door. He opened it, but found nothing. He then heard the tapping at his window and discovered a raven had flown in.

The Raven — a mysterious talking bird that enters the narrator's chamber; repeats the word "Nevermore"; ominous, supernatural, and unyielding.

The raven perched on a bust of Pallas above the door and began to speak the word "Nevermore."

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—

The man was amazed by the talking bird and tried to understand its meaning. He asked the raven questions about Lenore and whether he would ever find peace from his grief. The raven continued to respond with "Nevermore," causing the man to become increasingly agitated.

As the man's frustration grew, he believed the raven was sent by angels to help him forget Lenore. He asked the raven if there was a healing balm in Gilead, but the raven replied with "Nevermore" once again. The man then asked if he would ever be reunited with Lenore in the afterlife, but the raven's response remained the same.

In a final outburst, the man demanded the raven leave his room and return to the darkness from which it came. However, the raven did not move and continued to sit on the bust of Pallas.

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

The man realized that his soul would never be lifted from the shadow of grief and despair that the raven had cast upon him.