What is the appeal of the poem the raven? Why do people like it so much?  Why is it so famous?With the publication of "The Raven" in 1845, Poe became famous overnight.  More than 160 years later,...

What is the appeal of the poem the raven? Why do people like it so much?  Why is it so famous?

With the publication of "The Raven" in 1845, Poe became famous overnight.  More than 160 years later, the poem is still considered a classic.  What accounts for its appeal?  Please be specific. 

Thnx in advance!!!  :)

Asked on by woodya123

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I believe that "The Raven" is so popular and so famous because of the amazing genius that went into its creation. The rhythm and the sounds are captivating. There is nothing like it except perhaps in Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" and sometimes in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Poe's really dazzling use of alliteration, in particular, seems to drive the poem along relentlessly. Here is only one of the many possible examples of Poe’s creative brilliancy:

 

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

 

In the first line the “s” sound begins with “denser,” then cascades into three “s” sounds at the end of the line with “unseen censer.” But that is not the end of the alliteration. After all, he is speaking of a swinging censer, and that ceremonial utensil swings back at the beginning of the second line as if on a long chain with “Swung by Seraphim” and concluding with two “f” sounds in “foot-falls” and two “t” sounds in “tinkled on the tufted floor.”

 The rather morbid subject matter and the symbolism are not the reasons for “The Raven’s” immortality. Anyone who cannot appreciate the beauty of the pure poetry in this fantastic poem will never understand why it has appealed to so many people in America and all over the world since it was published.

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