Consonance


the repetition of similar consonant sounds in a group of words. The term usually refers to words in which the ending consonants are the same but the vowels that precede them are different. Consonance is found in the following pairs of words: “add” and “read,” “bill and ball,” and “born” and “burn.”


The Raven
Edgar Allan Poe


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 visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping—tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door:—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore!”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping, somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment, and this mystery explore;—
’Tis the wind and nothing more.”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obeisance made he: not an instant stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door—
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no
craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore—
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door—
Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore.”

But the Raven, sitting lonely on that placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore—
Till the dirges of his Hope the melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never—nevermore.’”

But the Raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and
door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore—
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking “Nevermore.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
“Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath
sent thee
Respite—respite aad nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!—
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted—
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore—
Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore—
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore.”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked,
upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the Night’s Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!

Edgar Allan Poe’s use of consonance is apparent throughout his poem “The Raven”. Examples include: “gently…faintly”, “explore…more”, and “sure…shore”. As a result of Poe’s use of consonance, “The Raven” is noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. The main theme of the poem, undying devotion one feels for another, is exposed through the use of consonance. The narrator experiences a perverse conflict between the desire to forget his loved one, and the desire to remember her. This conflict emphasizes the main theme by illustrating a situation where a human is unable to move on from his deceased lover.

Link: Consonants
Consonance is the repetition of consonants.




"It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic."

~Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), the father of the modern mystery, was born in Boston on January 19, 1809.
   He was educated in Virginia and England as a child. It was during his later years at West Point that he showed a remarkable propensity for writing prose. As early as the age of 15, he wrote these words in memory of a female acquaintance, "The requiem for the loveliest dead that ever died so young."
   Indeed, Edgar Allan Poe's first love was poetry, although he was unable to make a living at it early on, he was able to publish two small volumes during these early years.
   Only after becoming an assistant editor at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, Virginia, in 1835 did Poe's literary talents start to blossom. It was at this time in his life that Poe fell in love with his 13-year-old cousin Virginia. Their marriage forced him to find a source of income. When the editor of the Messenger offered employment, Poe eagerly accepted.
   During his tenure at the Messenger, Edgar Allan Poe was an editor as well as a contributor. In early 1836, Poe was credited with "between 80 and 90 reviews, six poems, four essays and three stories, not to mention editorials and commentaries." (Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance)
   Poe was to work for several publications as both editor and contributor. His career as an editor coincided with his growth as a writer. While working in Philadelphia for Burton's "Gentleman's Magazine" in 1839, Poe's work continued to flourish. At this time in his career he still was not secure financially, but his work was being recognized and praised, which helped greatly in furthering his reputation. During his tenure at Burton's he wrote such macabre tales as "The Fall of the House of Usher," and William Wilson. Tales like these psychological thrillers were to become Poe's trademark.
   In 1841, Edgar Allan Poe began working for a man named George Graham, who offered him $800 a year to work for him as an editor. While at Graham's, Poe was preparing his famous work, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," for publication.
   Published in April 1841, this story featured Auguste C. Dupin, the first-ever fictional detective. Poe's "tale of rationation," as he termed it, "inaugurated one of the most popular and entertaining forms of fiction ever conceived." (Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance)
   It was during these years in Philadelphia that Poe published such trademark horror tales as "The Tell-Tale Heart," and "The Pit and The Pendulum."
   It wasn't until the 1845 publication of Poe's famous poem "The Raven" that he achieved the true rise to fame that had been denied him until then. The public's reaction to the poem brought Poe to a new level of recognition and "could be compared to that of some uproariously successful hit song today."
   In February 1847, Poe's young wife died of consumption. Poe was devastated by her death and penned these words, "Deep in earth my love is lying and I must weep alone."
   During the years following Virginia's death, Poe's life was taking a steady turn downward. He suffered through a suicide attempt, several failed romances and engagements, and a largely unsuccessful attempt to resurrect his failing career after a long bout with alcoholism and depression.
   Poe died at the age of 40 in October 1849 in Baltimore. Although the exact circumstances of his death remain unknown, it seems clear that his death can be attributed to the effects of alcoholism. A contemporary of Poe's at the time remarked, "This death was almost a suicide, a suicide prepared for a long time." (Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance)
   Although he lived a short and tragic life, Edgar Allan Poe remains today one of the most-beloved mystery writers in history. His contributions to literature and the mystery genre cannot be underestimated.
(http://www.mysterynet.com/edgar-allan-poe/)


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