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This is nothing less than Edgar Allan Poe explaining how, in a cold, analytical, and logical fashion how he wrote his most popular work: “The Raven”. Poe claims his essay describes the “ by which some of my own works was put together [sic]”. In the poem’s middle, Poe develops the idea of the Raven as more than just a bird. Poe felt the poems lost their effect after a certain length. Pallas’ bust is mentioned to suggest scholarship and for the “sonorousness” of the word.
Theme and refrain set, what about the minor matters of “rhythm, the metre, and the length and general arrangements of the stanzas”? There are few choices in “mere ”; however, metre and stanza length can be varied infinitely.
’ From what I have already explained at some length, the answer, here also, is obvious – ‘When it most closely allies itself to : the death, then, of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world – and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.’ Poe then talks about how “nevermore” allows varied application. This “forced” him to construct the poem for “Nevermore” to be, at the conclusion, the answer to a question.
Likewise, he believed that didactic writing was for the pulpit and had no place in the realm of artistic creation.
Anything that appealed solely to the intellect could not be considered art because art existed in the world of the beautiful, the refined, and the aesthetic.
Among the famous dicta announced in the essay are: “If any literary work is too long to be read at one sitting, we must be content to dispense with the immensely important effect derivable from unity of impression.
…What we term a long poem is, in fact, merely a succession of brief ones”; “Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem”; “Beauty …
He invented the detective story which relies on these processes.
(I’m assuming deductive logic in that creating their plots.) He famously predicted, through such methods, the conclusion of Charles Dickens’ serialized (which he mentions at the beginning of this essay).
And then we get to the essay’s most famous passage: melancholy? ‘And when,’ I said, ‘is the most melancholy of topics most poetical?
However, a human repeating “nevermore” did not seem reasonable or sane, so a non-human was needed. Poe says he first thought of a parrot but chose the raven as more appropriate to the tone.