Manuscript. Click to enlarge.

Last stanza of "The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe," Handwritten Fair Copy, c. 1846.

Poe's poem "The Raven" has been one of his most popular poems since its publication in 1845 in the New York Evening Mirror newspaper. This popularity has led to a number of parodies, or humorous imitations, of the poem. Parodies can mock or celebrate the original work. Sometimes they do both.

In the last few decades, "The Raven" has been parodied in books, magazines, and comic books, but the tradition of "The Raven" parodies dates back at least as far as 1853 when Graham's Magazine published "The Vulture: An Ornithological Study." Its first stanza begins:

Once upon a midnight chilling, as I held my feet unwilling
O'er a tub of scalding water, at a heat of ninety-four;
Nervously a toe in dipping, dripping, slipping, then out-skipping
Suddenly there came a ripping whipping, at my chamber's door.
"'Tis the second-floor," I muttered, "flipping at my chamber's door—
Wants a light—and nothing more!"

Compare it to Poe's original:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door—
Only this, and nothing more."

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Write your own parody of "The Raven."