In Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven", what seems to be a work filled with ominous images and undertones is actually a description of what can happen to the human psyche if left to dwell on the calamities of life, such as lost love or loneliness. Within the many verses of the poem, Poe describes a lonely man who is visited by a raven late one night. The Raven utters only one word in response to the lonely man's ranting, that being "Nevermore". It is in response to this repeated word that the man continues to question and analyze the purpose of the bird, as well as his own personal emotions.
First, let's analyze the condition of the man in the poem. As mentioned before, the man (who remains nameless throughout the poem) is very lonely. The first line of Poe's poem states "while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore". This conveys an image of solitude and depression. The man seems to be thinking of his past that was filled with better times and happiness. The phrase "quaint and curious" shows that even the insignificant events of his life before when looked back upon brought him some degree of happiness. In the second verse, the phrase "Eagerly I wished the morrow;" displays his wish that this day would just be over with so that his sorrow could be momentarily lessened. As the poem progresses, the main reason for his sorrow is given by his constant repeating of the name Lenore. The second verse continues, "vainly I had tried to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore." This shows how the constant dwelling on his former love has caused so much pain that he just wants to forget her, if only for a short time to ease his pain. .
Another key to understanding his condition is seen in analyzing his physical condition. "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe is one of the more notable works of poetry in American literature.