Unfortunately, he was in the same sense unstable inside. However, when one goes through the times and troubles that he was afflicted with, it becomes understandable as to why his writings were so dark and dreary. His life was the most important influence on his writings. This is reflected in almost all of his works, including "The Raven," "Annabel Lee," and "The Tell Tale Heart." Poe, who gave us so many phenomenal works, was a genius tortured by his own life.
Poe was a very tortured soul. When he released "The Raven" to the public, a team of reporters shortly thereafter interviewed him. One of the questions that arose was why he thought "The Raven" was such a popular poem. He offered two reasons. He first said that he tried to show how a raven walks. No one knows exactly what he meant by that statement. However, his second reason was very intriguing. He said that he had written the first adult fairy tale. Confused, the reporters countered that fairy tales often start off with the famous line "Once upon a time." His poem started out with "Once upon a midnight dreary" which was clearly not what a fairy tale should lead with. His response was simply, "In my mind, every day is a midnight dreary." Needless to say, his time on earth was one of torment and horror.
"The Raven" was in fact written about his wife Virginia's death. It is interesting to note where the figure of a raven came from. Poe once set up a meeting to have dinner with the great author Charles Dickens. While conversing over their meal, Dickens informed Poe that one of their pets had recently died. It seemed that it had seen a gallon of blue paint, mistaked it for being water, and died from poisoning. Poe, taken back, offered his condolences and asked what type of animal it was. He was surprised to hear that it was in fact a raven. This is where the raven has been said to come from in the story. .
The metaphorical bringer of death that the raven represents is not an unlikely character for Poe.