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Manuscript Title

Feelings About Books

Publication Date

10-1-1972

Abstract

Thus begins Poe's most famous poem, The Raven, which from its first publication in 1845 had an immediate and wide success such as no American poem had ever achieved. While the entire poem carries an air of inevitability-of the perfect wording that has to be as it is for my part I find none of it so unforgettable as those opening lines. Perhaps that may be simply because it is the beginning, but I hardly think so. Rather, for me it is a demonstration of how a rhythmical combination of harmonious words can charm us into belief in factitious imagery and forgetfulness of what the words actually mean.

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