It’s good to be back for Poetry Friday! It’s been way too long, I know. Thank you to Keri Recommends for hosting this week.
Since our reading theme this January-February also has to do with romances…
…I thought of sharing one of the most tragic romances there is in poetry that never did make it to happily-ever-after: Poe’s haunting The Raven illuminated by Gustave Dore.
Edgar Allan Poe: The Raven And Other Poems with the classic illustrations by Gustave Doré
Poems By: Edgar Allan Poe Illustrations by: Gustave Doré Introduction by: Brook Haley
Published by: Arcturus, 2009
Borrowed through inter-library loan. Book photos taken by me.
I don’t remember anymore how I learned about this book, but I know for a fact that a Doré and Poe combination simply cannot be passed up. While I have read The Raven quite a number of times in the past (see my review of The Raven with illustrations by Ryan Price here) it was a different experience savoring it again with Dore’s art:
The stanzas have been broken down into four and two lines per full-page spread – all the better to immerse one’s self with Dore’s otherworldly black-and-white art:
Dore’s illustrations echoed the yearning in this poem for the beautiful Lenore – the emptiness made even more palpable by the ghostly apparitions that surround this hapless poet:
This poem is definitely worth revisiting with Dore’s vision that is able to effectively capture the grief and the ghastly appearance of the raven that utters nothing but Nevermore.
It was also interesting to note that a few of the illustrations here are familiar to me since I’ve already seen them in Walter Moers’ A Wild Ride Through The Night whose text was inspired by Dore’s woodcut artwork found in volumes such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Orlando Furioso by Lodovico Ariosto, The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe (there it is!), Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes among others.
Both the illustrations above could also be found in A Wild Ride Through The Night.
For my Poetry Friday offering, I am also sharing Poe’s To Helen as it once again speaks of beauty and adoration – rather than the loss and darkness found in The Raven.
And here is Tom Hanks reading the poem aloud with a hint of The Raven thrown into the mix. Enjoy!