Sunday, January 29, 2012

"The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe

On January 29, 1845, readers of the New York Evening Mirror were treated to a narrative poem called "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe.

The editor of the Mirror, Nathaniel Parker Willis, introduced the poem, calling it "unsurpassed in English poetry for subtle conception, masterly ingenuity of versification, and consistent, sustaining of imaginative will stick to the memory of everybody who reads it."

Image: The Edgar Allan Poe Society in Baltimore
Poe was paid nine dollars for its publication.

George Rex Graham, a friend and former employer of Poe's, had declined Poe's offer to be the first to print "The Raven." Graham said he didn't like it, but paid Poe $15.00 in charity. Graham made up for his poor decision by publishing Poe's essay, "The Philosophy of Composition" in Graham's American Monthly Magazine for Literature and Art, a year later.


  1. Wow, how could anyone not have liked the Raven. Just wow.

  2. Hi Charles,
    I was shocked, too, to learn that Mr. Graham didn't like it. Could he have possibly imagined that 150 + years later readers would still be in awe? It was a treat to find Edgar's "Philosophy of Composition."

  3. 9 dollars? Oh, I can beat that ;)

  4. You certainly can, Dorte! Thanks for stopping by ~ always a pleasure to see you :-)