Written by Doppelbock

Thursday, 10 January 2008

image for First Draft of Poe's "The Raven" Found
"The Raven." Well, okay, not *THE* raven, but *A* raven, anyway.

NEW YORK, NY (AP Newsliar) - An early version of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" has been discovered in the upper west side building where the famed American poet and author once lived.

A construction worker performing renovations on the old building found the bundle of papers when a wall section was demolished, revealing an unused closet space that was likely walled in over a hundred years ago.

Cornell University library archivist and Poe historian Dr. Oliver Clozoff has inspected the documents and verified their authenticity.

"The papers are an early draft of what would eventually become the famed poet's best known work, "The Raven", explained Clozoff. "They also contain a brief correspondence between Poe and editor George Rex Graham."

A transcription of the papers follows.

Mr. Graham,

Please find enclosed my poem "The Raven" which I am submitting for your consideration as an entry in your esteemed publication "Graham's Magazine."

Your humble servant,

Edgar A. Poe

    The Raven

    Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, drunk and bleary,
    Over many a tattered page of newsprint from two days before,
    While I squatted, pants a-flapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
    As I sat in silence, crapping - rapping at my outhouse door.
    " 'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my outhouse door;
    Only this, and nothing more."

    Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December,
    As I held my poor sick member, dripping down upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sought to borrow
    Surcease from my sickly sorrow: disease caught from some cheap whore,
    On one of my sojourns to the rougher parts of Baltimore,
    Nameless here forevermore.

    And the quiet wooden squeaking of the front step, softly creaking
    Scared me, filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    Said I now, with thund'rous farting, and my poor John Thomas smarting,
    " 'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my shithouse door,
    This it is, and nothing more."

    Reaching, as my soul grew bolder, for the toilet paper holder,
    "Sir," said I, "or madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is, I was crapping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my outhouse door,
    That I scarce was sure I heard you." Here I opened wide the door -
    Darkness there, and nothing more.

    Deep into the darkness spying, while the ointment I'm applying,
    Dabbing, putting cream on parts of me that are quite sore;
    And the silence quite disheartened, broken briefly as I farted,
    And the only word imparted was a whispered "Baltimore?"
    This I whispered, and an echo murmured right back, "Baltimore!"
    Made me think of that old whore.

    Back into the outhouse turning, my sore member still quite burning,
    Soon again I heard a tapping, somewhat lower than before,
    "Surely," said I, "surely that is something down the outhouse hole.
    Let me see, then, what the noise is, and this mystery explore -
    Let me take a gander in the pit beneath the outhouse floor -
    'Tis the wind, and nothing more!"

    Peering down the shithouse gutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
    Up there came a mangy raven, covered all with shitty gore.
    Not the least obeisance made he; smelling like a three-month old brie;
    And with drippings of poo and pee, perched above the outhouse door.
    Perched upon a half-moon cutout, just atop the outhouse door,
    Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

    Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
    By the fecal drippings on the countenance it wore,
    "Though thy feathers be shit splattered, thou," I said, "dost thought it mattered,
    Ancient raven, I am flattered, that you've shown up at my door.
    Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore."
    Quoth the raven, "Chancroid sore."

    And the raven, sitting lonely on that outhouse door, spoke only
    That one phrase, as if his soul in that one phrase he did outpour.
    Nothing further did he utter, not a feather did he flutter;
    Till I came to softly mutter, "Other girls I've known before;
    But with sorrow and regret I know it must have been that whore."
    The bird agreed: "Chancroid sore."

    Startled 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 owner, womanless and bashful loner,
    Seeking to succor his boner, went to find a two-bit whore -
    Till contracting the same sickness I've now had three weeks or more -
    Of such painful chancroid sore.

    But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
    Straight I sat upon the throne in front of bird, half-moon in door;
    Then upon the toilet stinking, I betook myself to linking
    Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
    What this grim, shit-stained and dripping, gaunt and ominous bird of yore
    Meant in croaking "Chancroid sore."

    Then, methought, the air grew fouler, perfumed by this outhouse prowler,
    Stirred by wings whose swift beatings flung shit upon the wooden floor.
    "Wretch," I cried, "Satan hath sent thee - from hell's foul depths, to torment me -
    Guilt and pain and suffering, reminding me of filthy whore!
    O amnesia, help me to forget that tramp in Baltimore!"
    Quoth the raven, "Chancroid sore."

    "Demon!" said I, "thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
    Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
    Tell this soul with sorrow laden, though the wrong field I have played in,
    Though I've clasped a tainted maiden, tell me truly, I implore:
    Though the wrong bed I have laid in, will I be sick evermore?"
    Quoth the raven, "Chancroid sore."

    "Be that phrase our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting -
    "Get thee back into the outhouse shit hole dug beneath the floor!
    Leave no black plume as a token of the whore of whom we've spoken!
    Leave the silence quite unbroken! Speak about her nevermore!
    Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"
    Quoth the raven, "Chancroid sore."

    And the raven, never flitting, dripping filthy shit, still sitting
    In the half-moon cutout at the apex of my outhouse door;
    And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming.
    So I went inside and got some duct tape from a kitchen drawer;
    And I bound his filthy beak, that what happens in Baltimore
    Forever stays in Baltimore!

Mr. Poe,

I am declining your request for publication of this poem. I found your use of symbolism to be quite effective - the raven representing a mournful, guilty, and never-ending remembrance of an episode best forgotten - but the overall subject matter to be quite distasteful.

As usual, you come off three-fifths genius and two-fifths pure shite. I entreat you to re-pen this poem with the theme being the author's conflict between desiring to both forget and to remember a lost love - a lost love of a more pure nature than, say, some trollop from Baltimore.

With regards,

George R. Graham

Copyright (C) 2008 by Doppelbock

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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