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“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven,
thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven
wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”
~ The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe, 1845
If, "upon a midnight dreary," you're pondering "weak and weary" about what tartan you might want to wear, this design may provide "curious and quaint" inspiration. Published this day in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" is deemed one of the most famous poems in American literature particularly for its Gothic themes of melancholy, mourning, and the supernatural! The poem narrates the eerie encounter of a grieving man with a mysterious raven, a bird that speaks only one word, "Nevermore." Ravens figure prominently in the myths and folklore of many cultures " and have been both revered and feared as harbingers of ill fortune or as symbols of prophecy. In Celtic Mythology, both Irish and Scots Bean Sidhes (Banshees) were said to take the form of ravens. Their calls from over the roof of a dwelling was considered to be an omen of death for the occupants! Perhaps because of its dark reputation, a group of ravens is unkindly called an "unkindness." But for all of their dark associations, ravens are one of the most exceptionally intelligent animals, and have demonstrated foresight and planning abilities; been observed playing by sliding down roofs and playing"keep away" with other animals; and making toys and tools out of sticks, pinecones, and rocks! They also can imitate human speech, use a variety of "hand" signals with their beak, and often roam around in teenage gangs! So, if somebody comes "a tapping at your chamber door" some dark night and they might be of the raven variety, dazzle and distract them with this striking tartan before they have the chance to utter that one fateful word .... . ✍️ 🖤 💜 🧡 🖤 📙
"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more."
~ Edgar Allan Poe (The Raven)
This special tartan by Carol A.L. Martin, is designed for the raven, one of the designer's favourite birds who notes "Ravens are big, intelligent blue-black birds which often sit on top of a pole or high up in a tree and make particularly strange noises."
Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poem was published on this day, 1845, in the New York Evening Mirror.
Poe’s dark and macabre work reflected his own tumultuous and difficult life, a life with a Scottish connection.
Born Edgar Poe in Boston in 1809, Poe was orphaned at age three and went to live with the family of a successful Scottish merchant (John Allan), residing in Richmond, Virginia.
The Allan family became his foster family and gave him the name Edgar Allan Poe, although he was never formally adopted.
His macabre works, often portraying motiveless crimes and intolerable guilt that induces growing mania in his characters, was a significant influence on such European writers as Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarme, and even Dostoyevsky.
For more on Edgar Allan Poe's tragic story, click the raven. And for an animated version of Poe reading his famous poem, click here.