Please paraphrase stanza 12 of "The Raven" and list its literary elements.

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But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore- What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This stanza is basically the narrator describing how he was intrigued by the raven and decided to sit in front of it in order to puzzle what the bird might have meant by saying "nevermore." The stanza has a loose rhyme scheme; lines 1 and 3 possibly meant to have a soft rhyme as technically the "ing" at the end of each word does rhyme. Lines 1 and 3 also have internal rhymes—"beguiling" and "smiling," "sinking" and "linking." There doesn't seem to be a strict meter, so this is more of a free verse. Poe uses alliteration in line 5 with "grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt" that ties into the theme of repetition that is heavily present. He repeats phrases and words "ominous bird of yore" is used twice in a row, and the word "fancy" is used three times. This repetition can be read as a representation of the mental circles the narrator turns in his head as he ponders the bird, which he describes as "linking fancy unto fancy." It's a very surreal experience, and Poe uses these literary devices to create an atmosphere of a room outside of normal time and space.

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But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

Paraphrase:

I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of the door and the bust (where the raven was) because I was intrigued by the bird.

Then I sat down and started to try to figure out (using whatever crazy ideas he could -- "fancy unto fancy linking") what the bird meant by saying "nevermore."

Some literary elements:

  • Internal rhyme -- an example of this is the use of "sinking" and "linking" in the third line of the stanza.
  • Alliteration -- this is best seen in the fifth line of the stanza when he uses all those words that start with "g."
  • Repetition -- using "ominous" twice.
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