January 29, 1845 — Edgar Allen Poe’s “Raven” is published today in the New York Evening Mirror.
It had first been accepted by a literary magazine called The American Review, but the New York paper was ran the poem prior to this publication. An instant hit, the poem was reprinted many times.
The dark and macabre work is said to have reflected his own life. Born in Boston in 1809, Poe was orphaned at age three and went to live with the family in Richmond, Virginia. As a teen, he enrolled in a military academy, but was expelled for gambling. He later studied briefly at the University of Virginia.
In 1827, Poe self-published a collection of poems. Six years later, his short story “MS Found in a Bottle” won $50 in a story contest. He edited a series of literary journals, including the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond starting in 1835, and Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in Philadelphia, starting in 1839.
Words of Wisdom
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 visiter,' I muttered, 'tapping at my chamber door. Only this and nothing more.