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Where Poe Wrote “The Raven”

 
 
Where Poe Wrote the Raven Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 3, 2016
1. Where Poe Wrote the Raven Marker
Inscription.
Upon this site
formerly stood The Brennen Mansion
in which resided
from March 1844 to August 1845
Edgar Allan Poe
and here during such residence he produced
and gave to American literature and to immortality
The Raven
in commemoration of the poet and of the poem
this tablet is placed MCMXXII by
The New York Shakespeare Society

Donors
Appleton Morgan • Albert R. Frey • Otto H. Kahn • Nathan D. Bill • John Drew
 
Erected 1922 by The New York Shakespeare Society.
 
Location. 40° 47.23′ N, 73° 58.665′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of West 84th Street and Broadway, on the left when traveling east on West 84th Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 255 West 84th Street, New York NY 10024, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Where Poe wrote The Raven (within shouting distance of this marker); Sergei Vassilevich Rachmaninoff (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); George Herman "Babe" Ruth (approx. ¼ mile away); Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); West End Collegiate Church and Collegiate School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Tecumseh Playground (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hamilton Fountain (approx. half a mile away); Barnett Newman (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Raven (Wikipedia).
Where Poe Wrote the Raven Marker - Wide View image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, October 3, 2016
2. Where Poe Wrote the Raven Marker - Wide View
The marker is visible here just to the left of the Aldo display window.
"The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man's slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word "Nevermore". The poem makes use of a number of folk, mythological, religious, and classical references. (Submitted on October 9, 2016.) 

2. Edgar Allan Poe Street (Manhattan Past). Manhattan Past discusses the likely location of the Brennen "Mansion" with regard to the two competing historical markers and comes to the conclusion that neither is quite right. That is, based upon the available archival evidence, the residence would have been located on the south side of West 84th Street (the markers are on the north side), and some 200 feet to the west of Broadway. (Submitted on October 9, 2016.) 

3. The Home of Edgar A. Poe (New York Times, July 18, 1888). (Submitted on October 9, 2016.)
 
Additional comments.
1. The Raven — By Edgar Allen Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
      While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
      “’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
     
A competing <i>Where Poe Wrote the Raven</i> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Erik Lander
3. A competing Where Poe Wrote the Raven Marker
This marker is also found on West 84th Street, but on the east side of Broadway.
            Only this and nothing more.”

      Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
      Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
      From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
                  Nameless here for evermore.

      And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
      So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
      “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
                  This it is and nothing more.”

      Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
      But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
      And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
                  Darkness there and nothing more.

      Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
      But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
      And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and
Edgar Allan Poe image. Click for full size.
Photo of daguerreotype by W.S. Hartshorn; copyright 1904 by C.T. Tatman., 1848
4. Edgar Allan Poe
Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress.
an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
                  Merely this and nothing more.

      Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
      “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
                  ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

      Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
      Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
      But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
                  Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
            Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

      Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
      For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
      Ever yet was blessed with seeing
Where Poe Wrote the Raven Postcard image. Click for full size.
circa 1910
5. Where Poe Wrote the Raven Postcard
Caption:This House belonged to Mrs. Mary Brennen and stood or stands at 84th St. and St. Nicholas Blvd., New York City, Raven was written here in 1844.
bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
                  With such name as “Nevermore.”

      But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
      Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
      Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
                  Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

      Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store
      Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
      Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
                  Of ‘Never—nevermore’.”

      But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;
      Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
      Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
                  Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

      This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
      This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
      On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
                  She shall press, ah, nevermore!

      Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
      “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee
      Respite—respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!”
                  Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

      “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
      Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
      On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
                  Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

      “Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
      Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
      It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
                  Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

      “Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
      Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
      Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
                  Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

      And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
      And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
      And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
                  Shall be lifted—nevermore!
    — Submitted January 28, 2017.

 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 2, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 9, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 241 times since then and 164 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week January 29, 2017. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on October 9, 2016, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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