Skip to main content
LibApps staff login

Edgar Allan Poe


"Qouth the Raven... Nevermore"


Common Raven

From Cornell Lab Of Ornithology

The Raven

Ravens (Corvus corax), as symbols, have been both good and ill omens.

In our culture, and in the 19th Century, they were harbingers of ill fortune.

Ravens are messengers of the gods in several cultures' mythology. In Greek mythology, the raven, originally white, was the messenger of Apollo. In the legends, the raven delivered the message that Coronis, Apollo's lover, had been unfaithful. Apollo was so furious he burnt the messenger raven and that is why they are now black (Hamilton, p280).

Ravens are the largest of the Corvus species, which includes crows. Scientifically, we know that Ravens are very smart and, like crows, very curious. We also know they are carrion birds, a class of birds reviled for their association with death and dying. It is theoretically possible that the raven did say "nevermore", since ravens can mimic human speech.

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-three Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.