The year 2009 was the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Edgar Allan Poe.
Mr. Poe was a master of the bone-chilling literary spooky story. And he could create a disturbing sense of unease, growing slowly in intensity, without resorting to monsters, zombies, werewolves, or vampires. Instead, he often just used a slightly mysterious thing.
Like a big black bird, discovered tapping at your window pane.
“The Raven” (1845)
Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious
volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping,
suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered,
“tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.”
Nothing more? Are you sure?
This great poem oozes with a creepy, dark mood, as the narrator, sitting alone by the glowing embers of a dying fire, brooding over the death of a loved one . . . hears the sound . . . of gentle rapping.
And it’s a lot of fun to read out loud.
We recommend checking out this lovely version of “The Raven” poem from the TeachersFirst website, with nice lettering, highlighted words, and definitions of the many strange words . . . it’s a delight to explore it in this form.