30 October 2012 @ 10:49 am
'thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven/ Ghastly grim & ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore'  

Dear Poet Who Is Best Remembered for His Work on the Subject of Taciturn Corvids,

Do you actually know any ravens?

Sorry, but I couldn’t help wondering.

Me

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Which is by way of saying I’ve been rereading “The Raven”. Because it’s part of our cultural understanding (or lack thereof) of ravens, too.

Stray thoughts:

Just because a raven got into your chamber doesn’t mean it’s all about you, dude.

Ravens actually aren’t all that stately. But they’re not ungainly fowl, either. It is true they’re unlikely to offer you the least obeisance, though. Or me either.

I want a fic about whoever it is who taught this bird to say “nevermore.” Because ravens actually can learn that sort of thing, no divine messaging required.

Are you feeding this raven? Because, seriously, if it’s still sitting above your chamber door after all these years, someone is. Or maybe it’s mooching off all those uneaten meals the servants have been bringing you while you angst about Lenore?

So let me see if I have this right. Ravens. Totally not creepy. Except for the fact that they totally are!

Which … isn’t wrong. Actually.

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Dear Fowl Whose Fiery Eyes Burned Into the Poet’s Bosom’s Core,

I promise, I will never look at you and croak “Nevermore” again.

Well, almost never.

Me

Mirrored from Desert Dispatches: Wordpress Edition.

 
 
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on October 30th, 2012 05:54 pm (UTC)
I cling to the theory that the narrator killed Leonore and there was no way the raven was going to let him forget it.
Janni Lee Simner: Iceland/ravensjanni on October 30th, 2012 05:55 pm (UTC)
I have a hard time believing the raven would care.

Unless Lenore was a friend of his? Ravens can make human friends and all.
Samantha Hendersonsamhenderson on October 30th, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
It's not so much that I think the raven cares about the murder so much as he resents the poet's attempts to deceive himself into thinking he didn't do it.
Janni Lee Simner: Iceland/ravensjanni on October 30th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
I think the raven cares about eating and amusing itself, mostly.

But maybe making a human feel deep and quaking remorse at his duplicity would be amusing to it?

The dangers of corvid biology meeting 19th century poetry ...
Jim Hetley: Powersjhetley on October 30th, 2012 05:59 pm (UTC)
I met a raven once, up close and personal. He spent too much time staring at my eyeballs.

Then there are the wild ones that croak sardonic laughter at me when I am out skiing alone in the woods, or climbing mountains. Never trust a corvid sense of humor.
Janni Lee Simner: Iceland/ravensjanni on October 30th, 2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
Never trust a corvid, period.

And I mean that in the most affectionate way.
Janni Lee Simner: Iceland/ravensjanni on October 30th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
(But eyeballs are so much easier to get at for a bird whose talons are nowhere near as strong as a raptor's! All soft and squishy, no tough skin in the way.)
calenorn: Kitecalenorn on October 30th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
We recently took our son to visit the University of Virginia and were surprised to run across Poe's old dorm room:

http://hoosonline.virginia.edu/site/c.qkI2KgMUIrF/b.3835651/k.205F/Range_Room.htm

I hope the raven in the room is sculpted, not taxidermied.
Janni Lee Simner: Iceland/ravensjanni on October 30th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
Huh! Does anyone sleep in there these days?

And more to the point, do any non-sculpted ravens visit, when they do? :-)
Miriam3rdragon on October 30th, 2012 08:06 pm (UTC)
I doubt it. It's all roped off and In The Historical Style Of The Time and such. I'm not sure they'd even let you sneeze in it.
Emma Bull: DeadBirdcoffeeem on October 30th, 2012 10:29 pm (UTC)
Heh. Bet it wasn't that tidy when he lived there.
Emma Bull: Heh.coffeeem on October 30th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
Just imagine the alternate-universe version of the poem in which the raven hops down off the bust and marches across his desk to see if those spare pen nibs are good to eat.
Janni Lee Simner: Iceland/ravensjanni on October 30th, 2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
I totally believe in this version of the poem.
Jim Hetley: Powersjhetley on October 30th, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
Shiny!
some guy named Larrylnhammer on October 30th, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
Clearly, someone needs to nominate the poem for Yuletide.

---L.
Harvestar / Karen: pic#26241714harvestar on October 31st, 2012 04:06 am (UTC)
My friend who worked at Ren Faire knew a raven (I believe named "Poe") who could say "Nevermore" and would say it at the appropriate times when you recited the poem. It was her favorite bird.

I wonder if there's a video out in the world somewhere....
Janni Lee Simner: Iceland/ravensjanni on October 31st, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Awesome, especially since I now have a non-shapeshifting raven doing exactly that! I knew it should be theoretically possible from my knowledge of ravens, but so cool to have confirmation! :-)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )