poetry friday

Myra here.

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…

Widget Handcrafted by Iphigene for GatheringBooks.
Widget Handcrafted by Iphigene for GatheringBooks.

…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 byGustave 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!

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

13 comments on “[Poetry Friday] Poe’s Romance Nevermore

  1. The illustrations are quite amazing, Myra. I will bookmark the book for sharing around Halloween time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Shovan

    Gorgeous illustrations and Tom Hanks reading, Myra. I was very excited to learn that graphic novelist Gareth Hinds is working on a Poe book for 2017.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful version of The Raven Myra. Thanks for sharing – and the Tom Hanks clip, too.


  4. “I know for a fact that a Doré and Poe combination simply cannot be passed up” — so true! I got a kick out of the Tom Hanks poem, too. I hadn’t heard about that movie before. Thanks, Myra.


  5. maryleehahn

    I’m not much of a Poe fan, but you had me at Tom Hanks!! (swoon) I’m thinking I need to watch The Ladykillers now!


  6. Welcome back, Myra! Did I spy “Cybils” on that bulletin board? How wonderful. Thank you for the peek inside this book… I visited Poe’s house in Richmond, VA a few months ago, and he was a sad sad man…. but the house has a lovely courtyard. 🙂


  7. Keri Collins Lewis

    A rich and varied post, Myra! Thank you for the visual feast! Dore’s art is haunting, a perfect match for Poe’s poem.


  8. Nice to see your name in the PF roundup, Myra. It has been a long time. Poe was a master of mood and story, for sure. His works were among the first I collected when I was in my early 20s. The Doré illustrations are fabulous!


  9. This is gorgeous, Myra. My Doré was prolific! I’m familiar with his illustrations of Bible stories, of which he did many. I didn’t know he had also illustrated classic literature. I find his work very dramatic. I hope I locate this book someday; would love to look at it up close.


  10. I hadn’t seen this book, but I MUST get a copy! Poe is one of my heroes. Thanks for sharing it, Myra!


  11. Gustave Doré – swoon. Thanks for this darkly irresistible post, Myra, and great to see you back in the PF mix! Somehow I missed that Tom Hanks movie entirely (let’s see… kids were 12 and 9 then, so I guess we were busy). Enjoyed this clip! Here’s hoping you have a bright and cheerful new year, Poe and Ravens notwithstanding.


  12. Myra, it is so good to see you back at PF and chatting with you via our blogs. I have never seen Dore’s book but am fascinated by his artwork-dark but worthy of deep observation. Since I am a fan of Hanks, I really enjoyed the clip you showed. What an ending! Have a great week.


  13. Thank you for your erudite post! It’s nice to be challenged to read books you’ve gathered for us. Ever since I learned that the Baltimore Ravens football team was named in honor of Baltimore’s “poet-son” Poe/his poem, I admit I’ve been more intrigued to reread it! Thanks for providing an enticing visual version! God bless you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: