The Raven
by Edgar Allan Poe

 Church Going
by Philip Larkin

 Frost at Midnight
by Samuel Coleridge

 I sit & look out
by Walt Whitman

 The Lady of Shallot
by Alfred Lord Tennyson

 Telephone Conversation
by Wole Soyinka

 Going Places
by A.R. Barton

 Village Cricket Match
by A. G. Macdonell

 The Night Train at Deoli
by Ruskin Bond

 Growing Up
by Joyce Cary

 The Castaway
by Rabindranath Tagore

Page 2

     The Raven
                    -by Edgar Allan Poe

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(Continued from Page 1) Even so, the narrator, pulled his chair directly in front of the raven, determined to learn more about the stern, awkward & ugly looking bird and its monotonous phrase-'Nevermore'. He sits and speculates on his thoughts, not speaking them aloud to the bird whose eyes seemed to probe deep into his heart while his mind wanders back to his lost Lenore. He suddenly felt as if the air had grown dense, fragranced from an 'unseen sensor' in the presence of the angels whose gentle footfall tinkled on the floor.

"Wretch", I cried, "thy God hath lent thee-by these angels he hath sent thee
Respite-respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore!

Confused by the association of the angels with the bird, thinking that they were sent from the heaven to administer to him Nepenthe and cause him to drift into oblivion, forgetting his Lenore. Taking offense to the assumed attempt made by the Gods to make him forget his Lenore, he addresses the bird a prophet of ill omen, unsure-

'Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore'

He then asked the raven, whether there is a balm or an ointment in heaven that could soothe or ease his pain, but the raven came up with the same answer-'nevermore'.
He again makes another desperate query, asking whether he will ever be reunited with his Lenore or 'Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom angels name Lenore' in distant paradise or in 'Aidenn'. When the raven replies with its typical 'Nevermore', he shrieks and furiously commands the black bird to move to the God of the underworld or the 'Night's Plutonian shore', without leaving behind a single black feather. However, even after having deeply disappointed the narrator's soul, bird doesn't move at all and continues to sit on the pale bust above his door, with the look of the devil while the light of the lamp falling on it threw a shadow on the floor.

"And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted-nevermore!"

In the end, a sudden realization dons upon him that his soul is trapped beneath the Raven's shadow and that his pain, suffering & agony shall never be cured.

The main theme of the poem is one of undying devotion and love of the narrator towards his deceased beloved Lenore. The poem begins with him "weak and weary," followed by being regretful and grief-stricken, before passing into frenzy and, finally, madness. The narrator experiences a perverse conflict between desire to forget and desire to remember at the same time, also seeming to get some pleasure from focusing on the loss. The narrator assumes that the word "Nevermore" is the raven's 'only stock and store', and, yet, he continues to ask it questions, knowing what the answer will be. His questions, then, are purposely self-deprecating and further incite his feelings of loss. In due course, he seems to realize the sad and sinister meaning of the phrase that the prophet of evil was trying to drive home-the bitter truth that he would never be able to meet his beloved Lenore anymore. On the other hand, Poe leaves it unclear if the bird, which seems to be a double of the narrator's sub-conscious mind, actually knows what it is saying or whether it really intends to cause a reaction in the poem's narrator.

Page 2

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