On the memorialization of the date on which Edgar Allen Poe was expulsed from West Point, it is perhaps natural that we should consider the life of American write, editor and literary critic Edgar Allan Poe. During his fairly short life, born on January 19, 1809 and deceased on October 7, 1849, he became quite well known for his poetry and short stories, particularly those dwelling on mystery and the macabre. During his life he came to be known as a central figure of Romanticism in American literature and one of the earliest masters of short story. In addition, his contributions to the emerging genres of detective fiction and science fiction speak for themselves.
In January 1845, Poe published the narrative poem, The Raven, which was an immediate success. The poem is notable for its lyricism, stylized language and supernatural aspects. The tale traces a talking raven’s visit to a distraught man in his slow descent into madness. All of this is for the sake of lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. The writing style demonstrates complex rhythm and meter, internal rhyme and the excellent use of alliteration throughout. To this date, it remains one of the most popular poems ever written.
The Raven may be read here:
Alternatively, it may be listened to in an audiobook format here: