“The Philosophy of Composition

William Butler Yeats, a great Irish poet, Nobel prize winner for literature, and literary peer, denounced Poe’s achievement and wrote: “Analyse ‘The Raven’ and you find that its subject is a commonplace and its execution a rhythmical trick. Its rhythm never lives for a moment, never once moves with an emotional life. The whole thing seems to me insincere and vulgar.” Another Nobel prize winner for literature T. S. Eliot commented in a November 1948 lecture: “An irresponsibility towards the meaning of words is not infrequent with Poe… Several words in the poem seem to be inserted either merely to fill out the line to the required measure or for the sake of rhyme.” But more favorable critical assessments of “The Raven” have continued to lift to poem beyond the grasp of critical strangulation. In his 1992 work, biographer Jeffrey Meyers recalled the sensation the poem created in 1848: “Surpassing the popularity of any previous American poem, ‘The Raven’ was reprinted throughout the country and inspired a great number of imitations and parodies.” Great French poets Baudelaire and Mallarme praised Poe’s poem and translated them. Write an argumentative essay based on Poe’s “The Raven,” “The Conqueror Worm,” “To Helen,” “Silence,” “Lenore” or other poems, supporting either those who criticize or admire Poe’s poetry. 9. Discuss how are the views of Poe as stated in “The Philosophy of Composition” can be applied not only to “The Raven” but also “To Lenore,” “To Helen,” and “Annabel Lee.”







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