Edgar Allen Poe is an author who has managed to become part of the fabric of everyday symbolism and psychology. There are references to the Raven everywhere- for example off the top of my head I can remember it being in the Simpson’s, a kids TV show called Ruby Gloom, and there was an episode of the Gilmore girls during which the Poe Society came to town and they held reading of the Raven. He was part of the gothic movement in America, drawing influence from the German gothic movement, but also adding his own style.
For someone who is now so well known as an author, I found it interesting that the bulk of his work is actually short stories. He liked writing poems, but found it hard to get them published, and so spent more time on his stories. It surprised me how few poems he actually wrote- although of course there may be many more that weren’t published or didn’t make it into the ‘collected works’.
I think after reading the poems, that the Raven is my favourite- it’s rhythm creates a driving force which propels you onwards through the poem, and reflects the character’s increasingly stressed psychological state, but at the same time the words give a sense of the stillness of the room, the quiet, dusty, mustiness. I think the reason it has been used and adapted to often, is that it is just as easy to both enjoy it for the melodrama and style, and to spend time analysing the psychology. You can choose to be serious with it, or just have fun.