“For Evermore” (Poem Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”)
Hours were put into dissecting the structure of every verse, every line, every syllable, and every rhyme of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”. Getting the flow as close as possible to the original was important to me. The intricacies of the whole thing will be irrelevant to most, but ultimately, I do hope it manages to entertain folks.
This is my homage to both a masterful writer that I admire, and a comic troupe that I strongly gravitate to–that of the “What If?” and the “Elseworld”. Enjoy!
Once upon a time forgotten, lived a scholar misbegotten;
A simple recluse self-absorbed, brooding over books of lore.
In distant lands now forgotten, fraught with chill the fog had brought in,
Heart-broken, forever caught in memories of his Lenore–
To hear her voice, soft and splendid, the voice of his lost Lenore–
To hear speak, and nothing more.
How obsessed this man had become, fearing failure should he succumb
To step on Charon’s boat and leave forlorn souls on misty shore.
Never, said he, “I shall prevail! Do you hear me beyond the Veil?
Bird of shadows, of night’s travail! Totem spirit, I implore–
Raven, send me an avatar; I shan’t fail you, I implore!”
Then silence, and nothing more.
With the proper dedication, and sigils of evocation,
The scholar on his knees did scrawl, a spiral upon the floor;
Ancient phrases he did mumble, raven feathers he did crumble,
To summon bowed low and humble, this ominous bird of yore–
I forfeit food and sleep, said he, “come, ominous bird or yore!”
Then stillness, and nothing more.
His fealty did not falter, his position did not alter;
A sacrifice to establish, with the Totem, a rapport.
Open was his Tome of Raven–death no longer left him craven,
Summon circle made this maven–glyph and soul, a planar door–
Three days and nights ajar, said he, “this body: a planar door–
For the bird named, ‘Nevermore.’”
With these final words, he waited, patient for what he was fated,
Watching the walls, floor, and ceiling of his chamber become no more.
In that short moment, half-dreaming, a raven cawed, thus redeeming,
His deep emotions came streaming from out his bossom for Lenore–
I wish to be your host, said he, “take me to my lost love Lenore!”
Quoth the raven, “Nevermore”.
The scholar stood, lost and confused, for he no ill-intention used–
Why then, Seed of Raven, said he, “echo your name and ignore
The simple request I stated–ancient texts I translated,
All carefully contemplated, all to reach this misty shore!–
To reach the Otherworld border; this Plutonian Shore!–
Take me as host, Nevermore!”
Down flew the raven so vainly, to strut on land so ungainly,
To discuss an agreement for a proposition it bore.
Words it whispered, smooth and sleek all, sealed with the fowl’s fiery call,
Never would the scholar recall the pact made and price in store–
For Lenore, said he, “I’ll accept whatever price is in store–
I’ll be bound to Nevermore.”
Then the Otherworld did shutter, when avatar wings did flutter
As the bird shifted to shadow–to merge with the scholar’s core.
Newly awakened, confounded, finding himself now surrounded
In burnt fields where dead abounded; he thought of his love Lenore–
The Raven Tome still held tightly; he’d now find his love Lenore–
He was bound to Nevermore.
The scholar stared ahead gawking, at a gypsy maiden walking
Past corpses as she looted with eyes on Raven Tome of lore.
He marvelled at her revival–at his lost love’s survival.
I’ve been waiting your arrival, said she, “I’m Bodva Le’Noir.”
Here my love was, Lost One no more–to love my reborn Lenore–
Happily for evermore.