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Edgar Allan Poe one of the worlds most famous horror writers and the man credited with inventing the modern detective story was born in Boston Massachusetts on January 19th 1809 His short life ended at age forty but in these forty years Poe led an eccentric life battled alcoholism and wrote some of Americas most famous pieces of literature Throughout his life Poe wrote over twenty short stories and composed many poems all in the Gothic style that became synonymous with Poe himself The Raven written four years before his death is an excellent example of Poes Gothic poetic style composed of one hundred and eight lines and split into eighteen verses The Raven is also one of Poes longest poems not to mention one of his most famous The Raven is said to be written in trochaic octameter a poetic structure which means that the poem is written in lines of eight trochees or pairs of syllables - the first with a strong stress and the second with a weak This hypnotic method of writing gives The Raven an almost lyrical feel as though it were a song rather than a poem The Raven was first published in the New York Evening Mirror on January 29th 1845 and soon achieved international acclaim being translated into many languages including a famous translation by French poet St Mallarm So what is the secret to the popularity of The Raven which continues 160 years after its first publication The simple answer to this is that Poe in The Raven created a unique masterpiece which amalgamated many elements which on their own would not have had such an effect on a reader The hypnotic method in which Poe wrote this poem the gripping narrative composition the atmosphere created by Poes style of writing and finally the poems classic symbolism together created an original and thrilling piece of literature None of these elements were in their
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