Edgar Allan Poe,Choose The Tone Of Your Work

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  1. Choose the tone of the work.

Poe claims the highest ground for his work, though it is debatable whether he was entirely serious. As “Beauty is the sole legitimate province of the poem” in general, and “The Raven” in particular, “Melancholy is thus the most legitimate of all poetical tones.” Whatever tone one chooses, however, the technique Poe employs, and recommends, likely applies. It is that of the “refrain”—a repeated “key-note” in word, phrase, or image that sustains the mood. In “The Raven,” the word “Nevermore” performs this function, a word Poe chose for its phonetic as much as for its conceptual qualities.

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