Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

Many of you would have heard of or read the Edgar Allan Poe poem, “The Raven”. Here is the first stanza as a reminder…

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 visitor,’ I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door –
Only this, and nothing more.’

Yesterday I had a raven encounter I thought I’d share.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

This little guy is an Australian raven (Corvus coronoides). They are reasonably common around here and often seen in groups if you know where to look. Yesterday, I had been out walking along a favourite track when I stopped and sat to enjoy the quiet. The quiet didn’t last long as I soon had company.

Was it an unkindness of ravens, perhaps a storytelling of ravens or even a conspiracy of ravens? All are used as collective nouns for ravens. Whatever their motive, about 100 ravens landed in a large tree near me. Grabbing my phone, I made a recording of what I heard. Click “The sounds of about 100 ravens.” below.

The sounds of about 100 ravens

Schools and students have permission to use this audio recording for educational, non-commercial purposes.

`Be that word our sign 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.’

It’s unexpected moments like these when you’re a part of something not man made which can form memories and add to experience. At least they weren’t crows as collectively they are a murder of crows. I survived to tell the tale so I think I encountered a storytelling of ravens.


2 thoughts on “Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.’

  1. That is an amazing encounter Ross. Here in the UK I have only see a group of ravens, (a small one at that) at The Tower of London. They are very imposing animals as they jollop across the green. I cannot imagine having 100 of these enormous birds in the trees above my head! How intimidating but how breathtaking!

    The Tower of London ravens don’t fly they have their flight feathers clipped, as legend says if the six resident ravens ever leave the Tower then the kingdom will fall. King Charles II put this one in place.

    Ravens were very rare in Britain but are making a comeback and I saw a news clip a while back about a pair of ravens nesting on the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent, South of England. If nothing else British ravens (Corvus Corax) obviously appreciate major landmarks in our country!

  2. Thanks for adding a comment. I have walked the grounds at The Tower of London and seen the ravens. I have no fear of these amazing, intelligent birds but was surprised with just how many I saw on the day.

    I can’t say the ravens I saw were as selective in their location. I think they had been at our local garbage tip and had been scared off by something. 🙂


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