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The speaker in "The Raven" is sitting in his study, mourning the death of his beloved Lenore. He is weakened and sorrowful, but is attempting to distract himself for some short period of time by reading "many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore."
It has been some time since Lenore's passing - long enough for the speaker to be trapped in the grief of dealing with the reality of never seeing her again, a realization which he can not face. His conversation attempts with the Raven confirm the deepest desire of his soul - some reassurance that this will not be the case, that there will be a reunion some day "within the distant Aidenn" between himself and the "sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore."
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