C. L. Edson
Ravin's of a Piute Poet Poe


Ravin's of a Piute Poet Poe

Once upon a midnight dreary -- eerie, scary -- I was wary;
I was weary, full of sorry, thinking of my lost Lenore.
Of my cheery, eerie, faery, fiery dearie -- nothing more.

I lay napping when a rapping on the overlapping coping
woke me -- grapping, yapping, groping -- I went hopping,
leaping!, hoping that the rapping on the coping
was my little lost Lenore.

That, on opening the shutter, to admit the latter critter,
in she'd flutter from the gutter, with her bitter eyes aglitter.
So I opened wide the door -- what was there?
The dark wier and the drear moor -- or, I'm a liar!:
The dark mire, the drear moor, the mere door ...
And nothing more.

Then in stepped a stately raven, shaven like the Bard of Avon.
Yes, a shaven, rovin' raven seeking haven at my door.
And that grievin', rovin' raven had been movin' (get me, Steven?!)
For the warm and loving haven of my stove and oven door.
Oven door and ... nothing more!

Ah, distinctly I remember, every ember that December
Turned from amber to burnt umber. (I was burning limber lumber
in my chamber that December and it left an amber ember.)
With each silken sad uncertain flirtin' of a certain curtain,
That old raven, cold and callous, perched upon the bust of Pallas
just above my chamber door -- a lusty, trusty bust thrust
just above my chamber door.

Had that callous cuss shown malice, or sought solace there on Pallas?
You may tell us, Alice Wallace! Tell this soul with nightmares ridden,
Hidden in the shade and broodin', if a maiden out of Eden
Sent this sudden bird invadin' my poor chamber
(and protrudin' half an inch above my door!).

Tell this broodin' soul (he's breedin' bats by so much sodden readin'--
Readin' Snowden's "Ode to Odin"!) ...
Tell this soul with nightmares ridden if -- no kiddin'! --
on a sudden, he shall clasp a radiant maiden born in Aiden
(or in Leyden, or indeed in Baden-Baden) ...
Will he grab this buddin' maiden, gaddin' in forbidden Eden,
Whom the angels named Lenore? And that bird said, "Nevermore!"

"Prophet", cried I, "thing of evil, navel, novel, or boll weavil,
You shall travel! On the level! Scratch the gravel now, and travel --
Leave my hovel, I implore!"
And that raven, never flitting (never knitting, never tatting,
never spouting Nevermore) still is sitting (out this ballad!)
On the solid bust, and pallid -- on the vallid, pallid, bust
Above my chamber door.

And my soul is in the shadow which lies floating on the floor --
Fleeting, floating (yachting, boating) on the fluting of the matting,
Matting of my chamber door!
[And that's all there is, and nothin' more!]

-- C. L. Edson


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provenance: This is G o o g l e's cache of http://www2.chopkins.com/galleries/writings/ravinsofapiutepoetpoe.htm as retrieved on Jul 7, 2005, no longer extant. Thank you, Google.
For another take-off, see Edgar's product review of Tuscan Whole Milk
posted Groundhog Day 2006