Illustrator: Ryan Price
Published by Kids Can Press on August 1st 2006 (first published 1844)
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Also by this author: The Fall of the House of Usher, Tales of the Macabre
Visions in Poetry is an exciting and unique series of classic poems illustrated by outstanding contemporary artists in stunning hardcover editions. The fifth book in the series, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," delves into the hidden horrors of the human psyche. Originally published in 1845, the poem is narrated by a melancholy scholar brooding over Lenore, a woman he loved who is now lost to him. One bleak December at midnight, a raven with fiery eyes visits the scholar and perches above his chamber door. Struggling to understand the meaning of the word his winged visitant repeats -- "Nevermore!" -- the narrator descends by stages into madness. Illustrator Ryan Price's exquisitely grim illustrations suggest a background story shaped by the narrator's guilt, embodied in the terrifying figure of the raven. Price's drypoint technique, with its rich blacks and feathery lines, perfectly captures the nightmarish atmosphere of this unforgettable poem.
‘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 some one gently rapping,
rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered,
“tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.’
I had started reading the Raven before but was never able to quite get through it. When I came across this illustrated version at my library I decided to give it another shot. The illustrated version made it so much better. The illustrations by Ryan Price are dark and gritty… much like the story of the Raven. I’ve read several illustrated books this year that have added a certain something to the already great story (A Monster Calls comes immediately to mind) and the Raven is no exception.
You can find a few more illustrations by Ryan Price from the book here but I would also recommend checking out the rest of his work here as well, although I must say I think his work in the Raven is my favorite.