"The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer and poet Edgar
Allan Poe first published in January 1845. Noted for its musicality,
stylized language and supernatural atmosphere, it tells of a talking
raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing his slow
descent into madness. The lover, often identified as a student, is
lamenting the loss of his love Lenore. The raven, sitting on a bust of
Pallas, seems to further instigate his distress with its repeated
word, "Nevermore." Throughout, Poe makes allusions to folklore and
various classical works. Poe claimed to have written the poem very
logically and methodically. His intention was to create a poem that
would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explains in a
follow-up essay "The Philosophy of Composition." The poem was inspired
in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the
Riots of 'Eighty by Charles Dickens. The first publication of "The
Raven" on January 29, 1845 in the New York Evening Mirror made Poe
widely popular in his day. The poem was soon heavily reprinted,
parodied, and illustrated. Though some critics disagree about the
value of the poem, it remains one of the most famous poems ever
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (title page
pictured) was published.
Halifax Explosion: A ship in Halifax Harbour carrying
trinitrotoluene (TNT) and picric acid caught fire after a collision
with another ship and exploded, devastating Halifax, Canada.
The Irish Free State, the first independent Irish state to be
recognised by the British, came into existence, one year to the day
after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty.
The Blood in the Water match: At the 1956 Melbourne Olympics, the
Hungarian water polo team defeat the USSR, 4–0, against the background
of the Hungarian Revolution.
Project Vanguard: An attempt to launch the first American satellite
failed with an explosion on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.
Twenty-five year-old Marc Lépine shot twenty-eight people at the
École Polytechnique de Montréal in Montreal, Quebec, killing fourteen
women before committing suicide.
Members of the People's Armed Police shot and killed several people
during protests in Dongzhou, a village in Shanwei prefecture-level
city, Guangdong Province, China, that was organised in opposition to
government plans to build a new power plant.
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
kick the bucket: (idiomatic, euphemism) To die.
Wikiquote of the day:
It is stern work, it is perilous work, to thrust your hand in the sun
And pull out a spark of immortal flame to warm the hearts of men:But
Prometheus, torn by the claws and beaks whose task is never done,
Would be tortured another eternity to go stealing fire again.