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THE METRIC  of  POE’S  RAVEN

El poema de Edgar Allan Poe The Raven (El Cuervo) presenta una métrica regular pero una rima complicada; ambas configuran unas estrofas curiosas e interesantes, veamos la primera:

       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 someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
       " 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door‑‑
       Only this, and nothing more." 
Tras unas pocas lecturas debe emerger una noción trocaica al sentir como la mayoría de los primeras sílabas de verso son acentuadas, y que esa tendencia continúa al organizar en pares, es decir, suelen ser acentuadas las sílabas impares. El número de estas sílabas suele ser 16, 15 a veces, pero siempre acentuada la 15. Enseguida se ve que el verso puede dividirse en dos partes iguales, de 8, con algunos segundas mitades –hemistiquios– de 7. O sea, el verso es un doble octosílabo, similar en estructura al doble heptasílabo que llamamos alejandrino.

Para obtener las sílabas en inglés debemos recordar que con frecuencia una 'e' antes de líquida, 'l' o 'r' se elide, no se pronuncia, perdiéndose una sílaba original.

Aparecen así 11 octosílabos, ya que los seis versos de la estrofa son dobles octosílabos excepto el sexto que es simple.

 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  silab
- q . -- - q --- - q . -- - q --- - q . -- - q --- - q . -- - q ---  medi
 ¯      7  ¯   7 ¯   7 ¯  7  canti
Once u ---- pon mid -- night drea -- ry, 1 A
while  I pon -- d'red,  weak and wea --- ry, 2 A
O ----- ver ma --- ny_ a quaint and cu ----- rious 3 X
vo ---- lume of for ---- got ---- ten lore,   4 B
While I nod -- ded, near -- ly nap --- ping, 5 C
sud --- den -- ly there came  a tap ---- ping, 6 C
As of so ---- meone gen --- tly rap --- ping, 7 C
 rap -- ping at my cham - ber door.   8 B
 "Tis some vi ---- si ------ tor," I mut --- t'red, 9 Y
"tap - ping at my cham - ber door.   10 B
On --- ly this, and no ---- thing more."   11 B

 

La rima es consonante y sigue un patrón original, que podemos ordenar así:

                            

                                                         AAXB CCCB YBB

 

es decir hay una rima dominante o principal, la B –4 apariciones–, otras dos secundarias, A –con 2– y C  –con 3– , más dos hemistiquios libres, X e Y. El carácter dominante de B se debe a su reaparición a intervalos mayores que las llamadas secundarias, las cuales se presentan contiguas adquiriendo así un carácter local frente al amplio de la principal. Además la principal cierra la estrofa permaneciendo mejor en la memoria auditiva como lo hace todo suceso final de una secuencia – por ejemplo la rima.

Además, mientras que A y C son rimas locales, es decir, cambian en cada estrofa, la rima B es común a todo el poema, con una sonoridad que resuena continuamente. Así se suceden:

                                                  A A X B  C C C B Y B B

                                                  A' A'X'B  C' C' C'B Y'BB

                                                  A"A"X"B C"C"C"B Y"BB

Por último, la rima B rebasa su extensión habitual (última vocal acentuada hasta el final, e incorpora la consonante anterior, conformando siempre la palabra 'more', sola o incluida en otras, como 'nevermore

En cuanto a la estructura general, vemos que hay 18 estrofas, número devisible por 2,3,6, y 9. Veamos si estas divisiones corresponden a alguna característica del carcter o significado del texto y/o la historia..

Veamos el poema completo.

 

                                 The Raven     by    Edgar Allan Poe

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 someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

" 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door‑‑

Only this, and nothing more."

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 tried 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

Thrilled me‑‑filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

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,

"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.

 

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

but the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"

Merely this, and nothing more.

 

Then into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon I heard again a tapping somewhat louder than before,

"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore‑‑

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore‑‑

'Tis the wind, and nothing more!"

 

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 that least obeisance made he; not an instant 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.

 

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

"Though they 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."

 

Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

though its answer little meaning‑‑little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no sublunary being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door‑‑

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."

 

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour,

nothing farther than he uttered‑‑not a feather then he fluttered‑‑

Till I scarcely more than muttered, "Other friends have flown before‑‑

On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before."

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

 

Wondering at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store,

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster‑‑so, when Hope he would adjure,

Stem Despair returned, instead of the sweet Hope he dared adjure‑‑

That sad answer, "Nevermore!"

 

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in from of bird, bust and door;

Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore‑‑

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

 

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er,

But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

 

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by angels whose faint foot‑falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

"Wretch," I cried "thy God hath lent thee‑‑by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite‑‑respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!

Let me quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

 

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!‑‑prophet still, if bird or devil!‑‑

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate, yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted‑‑

On this home by Horror haunted‑‑tell my truly, I implore

Is there‑‑is there balm in Gilead?‑‑tell me‑‑tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

 

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!‑‑prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us‑‑by that God we both adore‑‑

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore‑‑

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

 

"Be that word our sing of parting, bird or fiend!"  I shrieked, upstarting‑‑

"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken!‑‑quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."

 

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,

And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating of the floor

Shall be lifted‑‑nevermore!                           


 

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