Legends of the Raven’s caw

Latin speakers interpreted the raven’s call “Cras! Cras!” to mean “Tomorrow! Tomorrow!” And this soon became the symbol of the foolish sinner who puts off conversion. While others thought it symbolized the hope of something new or a better day. Here is an example from the 15th century depiction of a crow saying “cras cras”, which is not only an onomatopoeia but also means, according to the author, in Latin: “Tomorrow… you’ll die”. Actually it can be translated by an ominous “Tomorrow, tomorrow” and again, what this meant to different people could be very different. This picture makes it a little more ominous!


To the North American Eskimos, the raven’s cry sounded like “Kak, kak, kak!” which means ‘a deer-skin blanket.’ According to their legends, the raven’s cries warned people not to forget their blankets when they moved.

Photo by Kotsuis Hohhug

As intelligent as these birds are, it isn’t such a stretch of the imagination that the ravens could have been trying to help the Eskimos so they could survive. If they survived, then the ravens could eat the carcasses of the animals hunted. They could live near by and thus reduce their own work hunting. Who knows?

Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest

Two of my very dearest things, ravens and books, and a story set in the Pacific Northwest… my home. This is a book about a raven…what better way to introduce children to your love of ravens and crows than reading a good story about them? Here is the official book description,

Raven, the trickster, wants to give people the gift of light. But can he find out where Sky Chief keeps it? And if he does, will he be able to escape without being discovered? His dream seems impossible, but if anyone can find a way to bring light to the world, wise and clever Raven can!

Click on the book above to purchase the book or to read more about it.

Corvid Bookends

I found these fantastic crow bookends, raven bookends and rook bookends all over the internet…

Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” bookends

Photo Source: http://www.artigianalico.com/shop/home/library/bookends_frame.htm


Handcrafted Wooden Raven bookends

Photo Source: http://www.etsy.com/listing/27804559/raku-raven-book-ends-handbuilt-pottery


Antique Wooden Crow bookends

Photo Source: http://transporter.tripod.com/Bookends.html


THE RAVEN (Poe House in Philly)

“The Raven” is a narrative poem by the American writer Edgar Allan Poe, first published in January 1845. It is noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven’s mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man’s slow descent into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. The raven, sitting on a bust of Pallas, seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word, “Nevermore”. The poem makes use of a number of folk and classical references.

Poe claimed to have written the poem very logically and methodically. His intention was to create a poem that would appeal to both critical and popular tastes, as he explains in his 1846 follow-up essay “The Philosophy of Composition”. The poem was inspired in part by a talking raven in the novel Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of ‘Eighty by Charles Dickens.

The first publication of “The Raven” on January 29, 1845, in the New York Evening Mirror made Poe widely popular in his lifetime. The poem was soon reprinted, parodied, and illustrated. Although critical opinion is divided as to its status, it remains one of the most famous poems ever written.

The Raven Word Art

I came across this interesting word form — in the shape of a raven using the words The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe. I thought it was clever enough to share. =)

The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe (Word Art)
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe (Word Art)

It was originally posted on neoformix, I imagine they made it. =)

Raven Quotes

Some quotes about ravens,

If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.

— Henry Ward Beecher

Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by the smell of carrion?
—Friedrich Nietzsche

To the raven her own chick is white.
—Irish Proverb

And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

Censure acquits the raven, but pursues the dove.

That Raven on yon left-hand oak (Curse on his ill-betiding croak) Bodes me no good.
—John Gay

The Raven’s house is built with reeds,– Sing woe, and alas is me! And the Raven’s couch is spread with weeds, High on the hollow tree; And the Raven himself, telling his beads In penance for his past misdeeds, Upon the top I see.
—Thomas D’Arcy McGee

The raven once in snowy plumes was drest, White as the whitest dove’s unsullied breast, Fair as the guardian of the Capitol, Soft as the swan; a large and lovely fowl His tongue, his prating tongue had changed him quite To sooty blackness from the purest white.
—Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)

And still 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’s 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 on the floor, Shall be lifted–nevermore.
—Edgar Allan Poe

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!”
—Edgar Allan Poe

Come, the croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.
—William Shakespeare

The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan Under my battlements.
—William Shakespeare

Thou said’st–O, it comes o’er my memory As doth the raven o’er the infected house, Boding to all!–He had my handkerchief.
—William Shakespeare

Did ever raven sing so like a lark That gives sweet tidings of the sun’s uprise?
—William Shakespeare