I sent my "Raven" posting around to Poe Societies on the web. Poe's

Philadelphia house responded first and provided the telephone number of the

Walnut Street Theatre where THE BLACK RAVEN played in 1843, but had no other

opinion of the citation.


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From: INDE_Poe_House[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] (INDE Poe House)


Subject: Re: Fwd: The Raven

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TO: Barry Popik

FROM: John Stoudt

SUBJECT: "Ravens"

DATE: 12/19/97

Sorry, we do not have any information here that would help you in your

attempt to find more information regarding the two pre-Poe "Raven"


You might try either the Free Library of Philadelphia (which, I am

told, has an excellent theater arts history section) at

(215) 686-5427 or (215) 686-5396.

The Walnut Street Theater can be called at (215) 574-3550. I called

that number but got a voicemail message.

Good Luck!

John Stoudt

Park Ranger

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

______________________________ Reply Separator


Subject: Fwd: The Raven

Author: Bapopik Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] at NP--INTERNET

Date: 12/18/97 2:08 AM

Dear Poe People,

Are these two pre-Poe "Raven" ravens known? Are you familiar with the

1843 play THE BLACK RAVEN (Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia) and the 1839

poem "The Raven" in N. P. Willis's CORSAIR?

I sent this to my list at the American Dialect Society. Sorry for the

corny jokes!

--Barry Popik

225 East 57th Street, Apt. 7P

New York, NY 10022

(212) 308-2635





Various postings on the American Dialect Society list (ADS-L archives)

include the origin of the Big Apple, Fun City, the Windy City, Beantown, I'm

from Missouri-show me, Hoosier, Canuck, the Democratic donkey, the G. O. P.,

Kriss Kringle, Uncle Sam, O. K., 69, Not!, hot dog, pizza, shake, ice cream

sandwich, club sandwich, Tom Collins, New York's

Finest/Bravest/Strongest/Boldest, New York Yankees, Bronx Bombers, baseball

fan, grand slam, jazz, shindig, hobo, lollapalooza, Longfellow's "There Was a

Little Girl" poem, and much more.


From: Bapopik Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Return-path: Bapopik[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]


Subject: The Raven

Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 01:13:25 EST

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Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" is perhaps the most celebrated American

poem. It's long been known that Poe "copied" or "borrowed" from other works.

I've identified two previously unknown pre-Poe "Raven" ravens. I found the

second, more important one today.

A different poem called "The Raven" appeared in the February 1839 (I may

have the month wrong) CORSAIR. Poe probably read the CORSAIR, because the

editor was his friend, N. P. Willis. Willis later edited the New York Mirror,

where Poe's "The Raven" was printed on 29 January 1845.

I think Poe's vasted overrated now (a "language maven" titled a book after

the poem, and there's even a football team called the Baltimore Ravens!), but

I've been to Poe homes in Richmond, Baltimore (where he's buried), and the

Bronx. A few years ago, I sent the CORSAIR "Raven" to Bronx Community College

Poe scholar Burton Pollin. He hadn't heard of the poem before, but he didn't

think that the vastly different "Raven" had much influence.

I was going through the Public Ledger of Philadelphia today when--just a

minute, something just flew in.

THE RAVEN: Nevermore!

POPIK: You crap on my bust of Pallas Athena and I'll break your bones!

This is from the Public Ledger, 28 February 1843, pg. 2, col. 3:

_The Black Raven_, as produced now at the Walnut street Theatre, is a

decided improvement upon the former performances. Russell is a very nimble

fellow, a good dancer, and plays his part well. Miss Wallace, as Columbine,

does excellently, and her dancing is much admired. Davenport plays the part

of the Old Roue with much credit; and Barnes, the clown, grows more comical in

his tricks at every performance. It draws well, and is worth seeing.

THE RAVEN: Nevermore!

POPIK: Don't you say anything else?

THE RAVEN: Butter!

POPIK: Butter?

THE RAVEN: Parkay!

POPIK: Parkay is margarine!

THE RAVEN: Omnipoint! Omnipoint!

In 1839, Poe became coeditor of Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine in

Philadelphia. In 1843, his story "The Gold Bug" won a prize of $100 from the

Philadelphia DOLLAR NEWSPAPER. I'm reading this from a book (which I bought

in Richmond) edited by Roscoe Brown Fisher, THE JAMES CARLING ILLUSTRATIONS OF

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S "THE RAVEN" (1982). Poe left Philadelphia for New York City

in April 1843. Had Poe seen _The Black Raven_ at the Walnut Street Theatre?

What was that production about, anyway? I'll have to do some more

checking--just a minute! I hear a gentle rapping, rapping, as if some visitor

was tapping, tapping at my chamber door.

LENORE: Hello, my name's Lenore, and I was looking for my--there he is!!

THE RAVEN: Nevermore!

I gotta stick to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poems.