Ponderings to Ponder
“But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered- not a feather then he fluttered-
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “other friends have flown
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.” E.A. Poe the raven
I first discovered the love of literature at a very young age. One day when I was a teenager I was shopping around an old book store called Moody’s books. And I found an 1890’s book of poems by Mr. Poe so I bought it for 3.00 dollars and read it cover to cover many times over, and of course, over time we tend to lose the things we most cherish and it was lost. However now I have the complete works it’s not from the 1800’s but it has all the poems and writings of Poe’s contained therein, and it is covered with a beautifully designed book jacket with the raven on the front cover, his most famous work of course. I have always related to Poe more than any other author. His life growing up was full of adversity, He was orphaned then taken in by wealthy relatives, sent to a prestigious school where he was left to fend for himself with no financial support. He struggled to the point of smashing furniture to use as firewood. Near starvation, he began to gamble to try and make a few extra dollars but it only served to throw him deeper into debt and despair are. However, he did out of the defeats of life begin to write and he scraped enough together to publish his first work and of course all of us know the rest of the story. However, Poe never achieved his acclaim while alive it was long after he was dead that he received the notoriety that was due him.
Several years ago I had my son sitting beside me as I flipped through the pages of Poe’s works, he was tussling around playing with a toy. Then When I started reading from the poem the raven, he stopped! He looked up at me as I read then he looked toward the pages as if his little mind was taking it all in, he was listening as all the words rhymed and without making a sound, at only seven months at the time, he set quietly taking it in, he was listening to my favorite poem, these are the moments I will cherish forever. Several years later at the age of around five I took him to Richmond Virginia to the Edgar Allan Poe museum, it is a fantastic place to which we try and go every year in October my favorite month. And as we walked looking at Poe’s clothing and bed, I turned to my son Eli and asked, “what does the raven say?” and in his sweet innocent five-year-old voice he says, “nevermore.” This grabbed the attention of everyone in the room. It was a moment that will forever last inside my mind forever.
“But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and
Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”
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