abnormalities in the vanilla world · death - the new live · goth · macabre creativity · Mother Nature gets Her freak on · mystic · supernatural

quoth the Raven nevermore”

a living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing the bird above his chamber

Once upon a midnight dreary in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe wrote the Raven, knowing that the creepy superstition about blackbirds (also known as ravens, jackdaws, magpies and crows) were a suitable metaphor for his hero’s loss and despair. The poem tells of a talking raven’s visit to a distraught lover, ensuring the man’s slow descent into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student,  laments the loss of his love, Lenore. watch animation edgar allan poe’s Lenore.The raven instigates his distress with its constant repetition of the word “nevermore“.   Poe chose a raven as the central symbol in the story because he wanted a “non-reasoning” creature capable of speech. The use of the raven, the “devil bird“, is also a reference to the occult. watch edgar allan poe – the raven animation

Poe echoes the theme of love lost using the same name Lenore in a poem entitled Lenore. watch the little girl who was forgotten. Lenore is dead and her fiancé, Guy de Vere, finds it inappropriate to “mourn” the dead.   It is believed Poe may have penned Lenore as a means of coping with the death of his young wife, Virginia Clemm, 24, by tuberculosis. watch lenore the cute little dead girl. Already diagnosed as manic-depressive, the young Poe was surrounded by death and loss: within 3 years of his birth, his mother died due to TB. It is not known if Poe’s father, David Poe, died in 1910, or abandoned the family for another woman. watch edgar allan poe, biography, part 1. Poe’s brother succumbed to intemperance, a polite term for alcohol poisoning. His sister and his foster mother died of TB. His stepfather, John Allan, died when Poe was 25. Within two years of Virginia’s death, Poe died at the age of 40, of unknown causes. watch the death of edgar allan poe

Poe errs in the extreme in his choice of the raven as an irrational animal.  `Crows and their genus corvus, are the most intelligent animals on earth. They have the ability to memorize, reason and to spread communication about a particular danger or person to the flock. In fact, after a raven was shot by a pellet gun in a suburban town in the U.S., the flock advised one another how high above humans they should fly in order to avoid the same fate.  watch watch a murder of crows documentary

Recent research has found some crow species capable not only of tool use but of tool construction.  Crows and ravens score very highly on intelligence tests. Wild hooded crows have learned to use bread crumbs for bait-fishing.   watch problem solving by a clever crow Another skill involves dropping tough nuts into a trafficked street and waiting for a car to crush them open.  watch science in action – crow intelligence In contradiction with their supreme intelligence is that they love cigarettes, despite previous research.The Jackdaw and the European Magpie have been found to have a nidopallium approximately the same relative size as the functionally equivalent neocortex in chimpanzees andhumans. watch joshua klein: the amazing intelligence of crows

One concept that is beyond the raven’s grasp is that their two enemies, hawks andhumans, have joined together to fight them. This is a perspective jackdaws, pigeons, ravens, crows, and magpies cannot decipher. Crows can predict and avoid human danger, and do the same with hawks, but when they team up together, crows are lost. However, the communication lines among crows and ravens is staggering. When one crow is assaulted or killed by a hawk, hundreds of others witness this and sound the alarm to one another. The flocks take flight, removing themselves far from danger. watch crow and kitten are friends

Magpies are thought incorrectly to steal shiny, glittery objects in order to line their nests.  It is only young magpies that covet these objects, mistaking them for food until they reach an age where they recognize their mistake. watch the most extreme crazy collector  This odd habit was superstitiously explained in Greek legend, wherein a princess Arne was bribed with gold by King Minos of Crete, and was punished for her avarice by being transformed into an equally avaricious jackdaw, who seeks shiny things. watch cat playing with bird  In Cornish folklore crows and particularly magpies are associated with death and the ‘otherworld’, and must always be greeted with respect.   watch lovefield short film with a surprise ending  The origin of ‘counting crows’ as augury is British; however the British versions count magpies:

One for sorrow, two for mirth, three’s a wedding, four’s a birth, five is Heaven, six is Hell, seven is the Devil himself.

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