In the twelfth stanza of this poem, the speaker describes how the raven had so amused him with its comical, noble mien that he felt utterly beguiled and distracted from his grief. He has been mourning the loss of his lover, Lenore, but now he cannot help but smile at the bird’s strange behavior. It is something of a relief for him to be so distracted from his sadness and to have his imagination warmed and stoked by the appearance of this strange and unexpected visitor.
It is for this reason that he grabs a chair and wheels it over to the bust of Athena, where the raven is perched, and sits down upon the velvet cushion so that he can try to work out where this bird might have come from and why on earth it would croak the word “Nevermore.”
He has already suggested, in the eleventh stanza, that perhaps the bird learned the word from his master or owner, that it is possible the master was an unhappy person who said this word a lot; this would be how the bird picked it up. The speaker does think that the bird is a somewhat ominous thing, calling it serious, unattractive, horrifying, and much too thin.