Introducing The Master Story Teller – Edgar Allan Poe

8th Graders just started a deep study of the amazing work of this 19th Century master story teller and poet. During this unit, the students will read closely, The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, and  The Cask of Amontillado. We will discover how Mr. Poe has influenced writer’s and film makers for more than 100 hundred years.


From “The Raven”

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,1
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, 3
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 4
“‘Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door-
Only this, and nothing more.” 5

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;- vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow- sorrow for the lost Lenore-
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore-
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain 6
Thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; 7
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,
“‘Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door-
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;-
This it is, and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 8
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”- here I opened wide the door;-
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Can you find examples of these literary elements?

1. Ryhme:

2. Alliteration:

3. Onomatopoeia:

4. Repetition:

5. Personifaction:

6. Assonance:

7. Figurative Language: