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Is The Raven an example of lyric poetry? why or why not?

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kidlet | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:10 PM via web

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Is The Raven an example of lyric poetry? why or why not?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 24, 2012 at 11:24 PM (Answer #1)

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Lyric poetry expresses the feelings of the poet (example: "Sonnet 43" by Elizabeth Barrett Browning).  Lyric poetry does not tell a story with action (example: "The Highwayman").   Good lyric poetry should reveal thoughts and perceptions through emotional content.

"The Raven" is more of a narrative poem, telling of a dramatic situation.  The inclusion of the dialogue from the narrator and the raven's response "nevermore" make the poem more about the narrator's reactions to the knocking, than his feelings.  The narrator of the poem definitely discusses his feelings as seen in lyric poetry, but because of the interaction between narrator and raven with the suspense of the knocking, I would definitely classify "The Raven" as a narrative poem.

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Kristen Lentz

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