Thursday, January 29, 2009

Giving Them the Bird

From Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac:
It was on this day in 1845 that Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was first published in the New York Evening Mirror. It begins:
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.”
Poe became famous almost immediately. Within a few years, “The Raven” had been reprinted in newspapers and magazines across the country, and included in poetry anthologies. Poe became a popular lecturer and dinner party performer, where his recitations of the poem were legendary.
It’s only appropriate, in this month when we’ve been celebrating Edgar Allan Poe’s 200th birthday, that we should also note this milestone for his most famous poem.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think he was also quite funny! I like his essay "On the Art of Fiddling" or something like that was hilarious!