Canvas Journal- Poe’s The Raven
In Poe’s Philosophy of Composition, length is important to how the reader may retain the poem.
According to the Philosophy of Composition, “… if two si,ngs be required, the a0airs of the world
interfere, and everything like totality is it once destroyed.” And later continue with, “It appears evident,
then, that there is a distinct limit, as regards length, to all works of literary art- the limit of a single
si,ng- and that, although in certain classes of prose composition, such as “Robinson Crusoe”
(demanding no unity), this limit may be advantageously overpassed, it can never properly be overpassed
in a poem.” Poe followed this rule in his poem, The Raven, “… I conceived the proper length for my
intended poem- a length of about one hundred lines. It is, in fact, a hundred and eight.” By having one
hundred and eight lines in Poe’s poem, it meant he reached the perfect amount of 3me to read in one
si,ng and followed his rule.
Another rule introduced in Poe’s Philosophy of Composition and followed within The Raven is the
continuous use of one word. The Philosophy of Composition states, “The sound of the refrain being thus
determined, it became necessary to select a word embodying this sound, and at the same 3me in the