Monday, September 16, 2019

'The Raven'...EVERMORE!

Sorry I'm so late with my Monday post, but our new pup, Raven Sky Bleu, takes up a considerable amount of my morning; going out to relieve herself, running thru the grass like a tornado, spying on the birds, chasing the fleeting leaves, etc. Then it's time to come in, have a breakfast treat or six, play tug-o-war for at least 15 minutes, greet Pappy, play more catch and fetch, and before you know it, it's lunchtime. And so on and so on and so on!

We were extremely lucky to get our Lab-Pointer mix from the Yukon Humane Society on Wednesday of last week. After much thought and lots of trial names, we decided upon, Raven...of course she's silky black with three white-tipped paws and one completely black. She has a white star on her chest. Raven is remarkably smart, she is almost completely housebroken and is aware of the outside yard boundaries in less than a week. This pup is crated at around 9:30 p.m. and without a whimper, is asleep until 7:00 a.m. the next morning. I kid you not!

Barry and I were sure we'd never, ever again have a dog, losing Shadow was devastating for both of us. It's only been 10 weeks since she's been gone, but it seems like forever. Yet I feel Shadow led me to Petland that day to find a pup, not to replace her, but to give us the joy we needed once more in our home. We know Shadow approves of our choice.

Having chosen the name, Raven, we never thought that Edgar Allen Poe's poem, 'The Raven' would have such a clarifying impact on us regarding the loss of Shadow and the grief that still lives in our hearts. We also never believed that the joy she gave us for almost 17 wonderful years would return. Thankfully, in the form of an independent, happy-go-lucky, inquisitive pup we aptly call, Raven, it has!

Here are two stanzas of the poem that Poe wrote in 1845 with an analysis for each of them. I've highlighted the parts that are most meaningful to the adoption of Raven.

Seventh Stanza

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 a minute 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.
He makes an effort to fling open the window, and with a little commotion, in comes a raven. The narrator describes the raven as one who looked rather royal, and like it belonged in the righteous or impressive times of the past. The raven does not even acknowledge the speaker, and he simply flies in with the airs of an aristocrat, and rests on the statue above the chamber door of “Pallas” (also known as Athena the goddess of wisdom). Then, it just sits there doing “nothing more”.
When the character embraces the realization of the cause of his insecurity (opens the window), The raven comes flying in. The raven is the most important symbol in this poem, which explains the title. This raven is signifying the loss that the character has suffered. Through the window of realization, his loss comes flying in to face him. The raven is described to be grand in its demeanor, much like the loss of Lenore that intimidates him. He is quite fascinated by it and glorifies it. The interesting thing to note here is that the raven takes a seat on the statue of Pallas (Athena goddess of wisdom) which discloses to the reader that this feeling of loss and grief that the character is feeling is literally sitting on his wisdom. It has overpowered his rational thought.

Eighth Stanza

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.”
The entrance of this raven actually puts a smile on the face of the narrator. The bird was so out of place in his chamber but it still “wore” a serious expression as it sat there. The speaker then turns to treat the raven as a noble individual and asks him what his name is in a very dramatic manner. The raven simply replies with ‘nevermore’.
When given the chance to face his loss and grief so directly, it seems amusing to the character. So he speaks to the bird. He asks it’s (the bird/his grief) name, as it looked so grand and uncowardly even though it came from the world of suffering (the dark night). The raven spoke and said “nevermore”. His feelings of grief and loss (the raven) are reminding him of his greatest pain : nevermore. The raven speaks to him clearly and relays to him that what he had the deepest desire for in this life of his, is now strictly nevermore.
When I first saw Raven, I felt a tightness in my chest, she reminded me so much of Shadow. I actually walked past the cage, telling myself I should look for a dog who had no resemblance to our girl. But something made me turn around and come face to face with my grief. I know it was Shadow who had already chosen this pup for us. Instantly a smile spread across my lips as those dark brown eyes jumped up to meet me. I could see that being pent up as a shelter animal with little chance to run and play was making her sad, but she was 'grand and uncowardly.' Her energy was electrifying, her spirit, captivating! Raven was in search of someone to give her wings... 
'Nevermore' would Raven be homeless, not for one more single solitary moment...we are her forever family. 

'Nevermore' has been replaced with 'Evermore' or at least until our time together is done.
Blessings and Peace

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