As humans, we constantly seek connections with other humans and we have always told stories to each other, sometimes simply to make sense of the world around us. Over the thousands of years, we see the same images emerging again and again. It is almost as if they are branded in our collective consciousness. Often, one particular author, artist, actor, composer or film maker does something so spectacular with one of these images that it haunts us until we are creative with it ourselves. Look into your own creativity and see if you can spot when this has happened to you.
In my children’s book Will Blyton and The Stinking Shadow, I have an evil shapeshifter called Ravensmite. He changes from a huge raven into a gothic looking teenage boy at will. I discussed the use of the raven with a wonderful person and writer, Maria Thermann who also uses ravens in Willow the Vampire and The Sacred Grove. Maria suggested that we had probably been subconsciously inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”. She was absolutely correct. Edgar Allan Poe had inspired me to create a character, although I had not realised it until Maria pointed it out to me.
The Raven is a narrative poem which has a gothic atmosphere. A talking raven makes a midnight visit to a mourning lover. Here is a marvellous video of an animated Poe reciting “The Raven.” It is done by the very talented poetryreincarnations .
Here’s your challenge – watch the video and use it as a springboard to create something yourself. Happy writing, acting, painting, composing or filming.
- EDGAR ALLAN POE BIOGRAPHY! “The Raven” (“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary'”) (greatkat.wordpress.com)
- The Raven Optical Illusion (moillusions.com)
- The facts in the case of E. Poe (chicagoreader.com)
- “The Raven”: Edgar Allan Poe as Byronic Hero (joannaparypinski.com)
- Shopping for the Bookworm: Edgar Allan Poe Edition (onetrackmuse.com)
- John Cusack explains why Edgar Allan Poe created everything you love [The Raven] (io9.com)