Monday, January 23, 2023

Week 4 – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Welcome to 2023!  On Mondays this year, let’s discuss and have fun with books. No I’m not writing book reviews. But this website is for writers, and writers like books right? So let’s have FUN with books!

Week 4 – The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Read it here

This poem, for which Poe received a payment of $9, was published in 1845 by the New York Evening Mirror and then by The American Review. While the poem’s narrator is mourning the death of his beloved Lenore, a raven enters the room and perches on a bust of Pallas. The narrator asks the raven questions, but its only response is “nevermore”.

According to the inflation calculator, $9 in 1845 is the equivalent of $351.47 in 2023.

In 1845, men generally worked 12 hours a day for $1-1.50 per hour. Women and children earned less than that for the same hours. The 8-hour work day was established in the US in 1869. So Poe basically received a day's wage for writing The Raven.

A raven is a member of the corvid family of birds [including crows, jays, and magpies]. They are intelligent and can remember human faces. They can show empathy and also hold grudges.

Ravens and crows are omnivorous and eat seeds, nuts, fruits, grains, beetles, worms, mice, moles, mollusks, lizards, small snakes, frogs, salamanders, eggs, small fish. Their favorites are nuts, eggs, and dry dog and cat food.

Most people think of a raven as a “big crow”. A crow is approx the size of a pigeon and a raven is approx the size of a red-tailed hawk.

Crow – From beak to tail, 40–50 cm (16–20 in), weight 300 to 600 g (11-21 oz)
Raven – From beak to tail, 54-67 cm (21-26 in), weight 0.7-2.0 kg (1.5-4.5 pounds)

A gray squirrel is 16-21 inches and weighs 1-1.5 pounds [similar to a crow].

A Chihuahua is 9.5-15 inches long and weighs 2-6 pounds [similar to a raven’s body, not counting the tail].

Both a crow and a raven live 10-15 years in the wild and more than 20 years in captivity. In the US, it is not legal to keep a crow or a raven as a pet because they are protected by the Migratory Birds Act of 1918.

Crow season in California runs from approx December 6 through April 8. The daily bag limit is 24 crows per hunter. Ravens require a separate permit and are more protected.

Then there is the Baltimore Ravens.  Extra points if you know what team they are playing here!

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