This is not only the most recognized Poe poem but I would venture that it is one of the most well-constructed poems of all time. The cadence is perfect, the word choice is inspired and the mounting tension throughout the poem provides for the perfect read-aloud experience.
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.
And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
"'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more."
I'm not sure I've revealed this little tidbit about myself yet but I adore Vincent Price. I love him in his classic horror films and also in his dramatic roles (like my favorite film noir, Laura). And as the most fabulous thing about him is his voice, I leave you on this Halloween Eve with his reading of The Raven.
And for J.T. -- I found the Simpsons version!
For next week's Poe Fridays, let's read the short story William Wilson.