The conflict in Poe's poem is an internal one, as has been previously noted. Poe states the nature of this inner conflict early in the poem. He has been trying to achieve "surcease of sorrow for the lost Lenore" by burying himself in old books and trying to forget about her. But the Raven seems to him to be a messenger from the spirit world who has been sent there to keep reminding him of his loss. Instead of trying to forget about Lenore, he is forced to think about her more poignantly than he had been thinking before. So he imagines that her ghost has come back to visit him. He asks the Raven if there is "balm in Gilead," which is equivalent to asking if what the Bible has to say about immortality and resurrection has any truth and can offer him any comfort. But in the end he is defeated in his attempts to deal with his loss. This is symbolized by the Raven taking up a permanent station on the bust of Pallas and continuing to croak the single word "Nevermore." It seems as if the "rare and radiant" maiden the speaker loved so deeply has been replaced by a pet bird who is no comfort to him at all but a continual source of pain.