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Jan 29 2020 - 10:26 AM
Today in History: "The Raven" Is Published

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.”

-- Edgar Allan Poe, "The Raven", opening stanza

On January 29th, 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's narrative poem was first published in The New York Evening Mirror. It tells of a talking raven who comes to visit a distraught lover, most likely a student or young scholar, who is mourning the death of his love, Lenore. The raven seems to provoke the protagonist through repetition of the word "Nevermore", building tension throughout the stanzas. The poem was a massive success and has been the subject of many artworks, including those by Edward Manet and Gustave Dore. While Poe did not earn great financial reward with its publication, it prompted book publication of his poetry, as Poe's fame grew as a writer known for his tales or short stories about mystery and the macabre. Edgar Allan became embedded in the school curriculum and is popular to this day.

The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.

  • Adams, B. J. D. (1959, Feb 08). Speaking Of Books. New York Times (1923-Current File)


  • Read an article on Poe's abode on West 84th Street and Broadway where he (apparently) wrote "The Raven".

  • Check out this New York Times article on the fireplace mantel from the farmhouse residence of Poe and family on West 84th Street (reported to be held in Columbia University's Rare Books and Manuscripts Library)



Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check the news postings on Learning at the Library, where you can delve into history.

Posted in: Learning at the LibraryNews Cafe|By: Jennifer Govan|1869 Reads