EVERYONE Has Read This but Me - The Catch-Up Book Club discussion

The Raven
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message 1: by Kaseadillla (last edited Oct 01, 2017 09:45AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kaseadillla | 1349 comments Mod
Hello all - starting up discussions for the OCTOBER 2017 BOTMs. This discussion is for the group's poll selection for the BUDDY READS category: The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.

This discussion will be FULL OF SPOILERS. If you have not read the book yet and don't want to ruin the ending, hop on over to the spoiler-free discussion HERE .

Happy reading!

Sarah | 729 comments I read the Kids Can Press edition a week ago and LOVED IT! Old language and poetry in general are usually hard for me to follow, the illustrations in this edition were wonderful and I got just as much out of the drawings as I did the words! Such a sad poem!

message 3: by Kyra (new)

Kyra Keeton | 250 comments I read the poem from the Portable Edgar Allan Poe edition which has all his writings, including some letters so there aren't any illustrations. I think images would have been a good edition to the words. They really are just so sad, even the name Lenore sounds like a whimper.

message 4: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole This was my first read with illustrations. It helped to understand more of what was written. There is so much up for interpretation.

message 5: by MissLemon (last edited Oct 15, 2017 02:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

MissLemon  (misslemon) | 274 comments I read it but I can't say I enjoyed it I'm afraid. I'm not a big poetry fan though. It does sound like I'd have been better to read a copy with illustrations, so I'm going to try and get one from the library soon.
I also read The Tell-Tale Heart which I really enjoyed, so I'm going to try and read some more EA Poe soon. I've been wanting to ever since I read A Series of Unfortunate Events Box: The Complete Wreck!

Kourtney Brennan | 2 comments I vaguely remember reading this in high school. I re-read an illustrated version again, and I still really like this poem as I did in high school. I am not a fan of poetry, but the way the words are used in this poem makes it enjoyable.

Jolene (nolifemama) | 1 comments https://youtu.be/bLiXjaPqSyY
This is the version they had the Simpsons. Very good.

message 8: by Sarah (last edited Oct 17, 2017 11:49AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 343 comments Decided to read this on my lunch break today.
Normally not a fan of poetry (unless it is epic poetry, those I like), but I really like this one. I think its because even though it is a poem, it still tells a story.
The raven is just so ominous a symbol in so much legend & folklore. I can easily see an already troubled mind like this taking it as a sign of doom.

Carolyn wrote: "I read it but I can't say I enjoyed it I'm afraid. I'm not a big poetry fan though. It does sound like I'd have been better to read a copy with illustrations, so I'm going to try and get one from t..."

I'm not a big poetry fan either, bu I did enjoy this one.

If you liked Tell-Tale Heart, try The Fall of the House of Usher. That's my favorite Poe story, though Tell-Tale is a close second for me.
The Masque of the Red Death is really good too. The Cask of Amontillado and The Murders in the Rue Morgue are good. I can't stand The Pit and the Pendulum for its 1,001 historical inaccuracies but plenty of people like it.

Rowen | 47 comments Okay, The Raven surprised me. This was the first time I've ever read Poe and while I had heard how dark and disturbing his works could be no one had mentioned the flowing rhythm that made The Raven an incredibly beautiful, lyrical, and descriptive, though sad, work. I am hoping that other works by Poe are as rich in these elements. If so, they will instantly be added to my reading list.

message 10: by Marcos (last edited Oct 18, 2017 07:20AM) (new) - added it

Marcos Kopschitz | 1765 comments I haven't read it this time yet, but I will. However, it'll be another reread of many, so I can already join the discussion! :-)

Unlike some of you, I am a poetry fan. Also a long time Poe fan. Yes, he's dark, but nonetheless a creative genius. I've just loved "The Raven" since the first read. In a family party performance I once read it and had some nephews make the raven voices, "Never more!" from the background. :-)

Sarah's other suggested readings are great! "The Fall of the House of Usher" is extraordinary and considered to contain one of the best descriptions in English literature. "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is considered as the grandfather of detective stories!

And Rowen has just made an excellent concise description of Poe's poetry and "The Raven"! Rowen, try next "Annabel Lee", another great one along those lines!

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 558 comments I read it tonight. Lovely.

message 12: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Oct 18, 2017 01:05AM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 558 comments Vincent Price youtube link:


Christopher Lee:


Christopher Walken:


Rowen | 47 comments Thank you Marcos, for the wonderful recommendation. Annabel Lee is beautiful. I really enjoyed reading it. :-)

message 14: by Marcos (new) - added it

Marcos Kopschitz | 1765 comments Rowen, glad that you liked it!
Greetings from a kingdom by the sea! :-)

message 15: by Nick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nick The last time I read it I was in Junior High School. It's effect was lost on me then and it is still lost on me now. I kind of liked the illustrations though. I don't think I have seen them before.

message 16: by CHIOMA (new)

CHIOMA | 3 comments I read 'The Raven' for the first time today (without illustrations ) and I loved the play with words. Such a tortured soul, makes me wonder if it is about unrequited love or forbidden love?

MissLemon  (misslemon) | 274 comments I liked this better - a re read from my childhood when the reference to the Raven saying 'Nevermore!' was lost on me ;-)
Arabel's Raven (Arabel and Mortimer, #1) by Joan Aiken
Arabel's Raven

Martina Bučková | 145 comments How did you all understand the ending of the poem? Did the man die out of the sorrow?

message 19: by aPriL does feral sometimes (last edited Oct 24, 2017 03:50PM) (new)

aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 558 comments To me, the man in his despair projected his grief onto the raven, giving his emotion a physical outlet and target, and so raved at it. At the same time, he was recognizing he would be forever plagued by a dark bleak sorrowful emotional depression which would never lift as long as he lived. Happiness would be never more for him forever.

message 20: by Dawn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dawn Podojil Just picked this up from the library. Beautifully illustrated by Ryan Price. and a wonderful font choice by the editor too!

Sarah | 729 comments Dawn, that’s the one I read! Amazing art!

message 22: by Dirk (new)

Dirk | 11 comments I read the complete poems of Poe in 9th and 10th class at school. A good friend gave me a compilation with a German/English version as a present. The raven was one of my favorites and I could recite it in english class. I always loved Poe as writer of good storys but his poems where always something special. If you put in charge that he had written most of his poems and stories under drugs you know why they are so dark and mystical. The Ravens last word "Nevermore" where following me and I never lost the Connection to the Poem which I had read more than 20 times since then.

Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 1013 comments I just listened to a librivox.org recording (somehow forgetting that there would be choices on youtube!) and it helped me understand the point of the rhythm/ meter. More about the " trochaic octameter" is on https://genius.com/Edgar-allan-poe-th....

Also there I found an amazing explanation of the poem by Poe himself:

Poe wrote:

I saw that I could make the first query propounded by the lover—the first query to which the Raven should reply “Nevermore"—

that I could make this first query a commonplace one, the second less so, the third still less, and so on, until at length the lover, startled from his original nonchalance by the melancholy character of the word itself, by its frequent repetition, and by a consideration of the ominous reputation of the fowl that uttered it, is at length excited to superstition, and wildly propounds queries of a far different character—queries whose solution he has passionately at heart—

propounds them half in superstition and half in that species of despair which delights in self-torture—

propounds them not altogether because he believes in the prophetic or demoniac character of the bird (which reason assures him is merely repeating a lesson learned by rote), but because he experiences a frenzied pleasure in so modelling his questions as to receive from the expected “Nevermore” the most delicious because the most intolerable of sorrows.

Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 1013 comments But what does the 'bust of Pallas' represent? There are at least two figures named that: the Titan god of battle and warcraft, and a Libyan nymph (according to theoi.com).

message 25: by Marcos (last edited Oct 28, 2017 02:51PM) (new) - added it

Marcos Kopschitz | 1765 comments "The raven perches on a bust of Pallas Athena, a symbol of wisdom meant to imply the narrator is a scholar.
Poe says that the narrator is a young scholar. Though this is not explicitly stated in the poem, it is mentioned in "The Philosophy of Composition". It is also suggested by the narrator reading books of "lore" as well as by the bust of Pallas Athena, Greek goddess of wisdom."

That's from Wikipedia, which has a very good page on The Raven.

message 27: by Sarah (last edited Nov 09, 2017 12:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah | 343 comments James Earl Jones reading this:


His voice is seriously perfect for it.

Renee | 28 comments That video of The Raven done by James Earl Jones is great. Thanks for the link.

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