A4 Texts That Leave Lasting Impressions – The Raven
What is it about some pieces of literature that they’re so well-loved, well remembered, stand out apart from all the others?
- So many people who have read the novella Of Mice and Men have a life-long appreciation for the character Lennie. Why? Why does he stand out to people so specifically?
- The Harry Potter series has a whole global following, making the author a billionaire!
- Or the Lord of the Rings series and characters are still read and appreciated even though other similar texts and storylines have been attempted.
“The Raven” – this is the poem you’re going to read. Realizing a famous phrase from this poem has been etched into his gravestone in his place of rest, what does that tell you about how significant and popular still that one piece of writing came to be?
Creativity leads to creative writing:
- Look at an author like Stephanie Meyers and her Twilight series that led to a fan loyalty face-off between Team Edward and Team Jacob!
- The author of the book The Martian studied space as a hobby. His fascination with that topic and possibilities led to him writing this book that was turned into a blockbuster film! And the book is so creative, still a better experience than the great film created from it.
- Elon Musk and Jeffrey Bezos are exploring private ways to go to Mars! They recently took passengers there – like the 90-year-old actor William Shatner who played Captain James T. Kirk in the Star Trek series.
- Creativity and exploration has led to scientists recording the sounds on Mars, even.
- Symbolism of Ravens vs Owls: you’ll look this up to understand the significance of why he chose to base this poem/plot on a Raven and not another bird type.
- Ravens: Smart and Talkative
- “The Raven” Interactive site: this website includes definitions, highlights the rhyming patterns and figurative devices
Take A Listen
If you’re strapped for time, listen to one of these great readings of The Raven by five frightening fellows (all available on Youtube):
- Christopher Lee (remind students that he’s Count Dooku from Star Wars)
- James Earl Jones
- Vincent Price (from memory!)
- Christopher Walken
And, of course, The Simpsons’ take on the poem (also narrated by James Earl Jones) at TeacherTube.