“Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling
by the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore
though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou, I said, ‘art sure no craven’
ghastly, grim, and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore.
‘Tell me what thy lordly name is on the night’s plutonian shore!’
quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore.'”
-Edgar Allan Poe
His rhyming scheme!
His everything! ok, well maybe not so much his marrying a close relative, but he was indeed a brilliant writer, through incredibly poor circumstances.
The Raven is arguably my favorite of his works (yes, even above Tell Tale Heart and Cask of Amontillado). He basically has a couplet for the first and third lines, which don’t rhyme with each other and then lines 2, 4, and 5 do. all with strong alliteration. He’s brilliant in such a brilliant and somewhat delicate way.
The verse I quoted I have memorized, by the way. I keep being pulled towards redundancy to call him and his work brilliant. It truly is though.
A while back, I posted this quote on facebook and a lot of people didn’t catch the rhyming scheme. He doesn’t just have it rhyme so Seussian as so many people are accustomed to. He also applies much rhythm to his pieces, making them indefinitely more profound in the way of how the reader receives it. He makes such cruel and harsh subjects sound so romantic.
On a less analytic note, I have a Poe tattoo: “darkness there and nothing more” accompanied by a black feather. I was tempted to get ‘Quoth the raven, ‘Nevermore,” but I felt that was, in a way, too easy. Everyone still catches the Poe reference and they get some major brownie points for it. I love this line because it’s a simple, somewhat elegant, way of expressing a sort of paranoid reassurance and that is something Poe and I have in common.