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Edgar Allan Poe

Illustrations

"Qouth the Raven... Nevermore"

From sodahead.com

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.

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