"There's something funny going on in "The Raven.""
Edgar Allan Poe, late 1860s
Public DomainEdgar Allan Poe, late 1860s - Credit: Oscar Halling

The Raven is a narrative poem by American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe.  It was first published in January 1845. It tells of the despair of a young man who has lost his love, and his strange and vaguely supernatural visit from a talking raven.  The poem makes use of a number of folk and classical references.

The narrator asks the raven his name. The bird responds ‘Nevermore.’  The narrator continues to address questions to the raven, always getting the same response.  The exchange sees the narrator descend from weariness and grief, into frenzy and eventually madness.  What the raven makes of it all is not clear.

Read the poem here.