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"The Raven"

This picture is an illustration by Édouard Manet for a French publication of Edgar Allan Poe's narrative poem "The Raven". In the poem, a raven flies into the narrator's home through the window and perches on a bust of Pallas Athena. The narrator asks the bird a series of questions, to which the bird's only reply is "Nevermore". Eventually, the narrator falls into despair and ends with his final admission that his soul is trapped beneath the raven's shadow and shall be lifted "nevermore". Originally published in 1845, the poem was widely popular and made Poe famous, although it did not bring him much financial success. "The Raven" has influenced many modern works and is referenced throughout popular culture in films, television, music, and more.

Illustration credit: Édouard Manet; restored by Lise Broer

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