you have read the Rivendell
Reader or even some specific catalogs which they put out, you
may have run across Grant Peterson's penchant for "E-less"
writing. Way back when, he kicked off this contest by asking readers
of The Reader to submit a reworking of the first verse of "The
Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe - without using the letter "e".
(There was a specific exception for "Lenore", as it was
a proper name.)
contest lay dormant after that for a bit, but emerged again recently
(with RR#37) for the second verse. I was lucky
enough to take a runner-up prize, so I was happy to see it continued
with #38. At this rate, I should have enough to buy
Legolas Hilsen Legolas frameset
in another, oh, 3 years or so... maybe more if the Readers are tardy.
kinda full-on literary geeking, but it is fun.
- Well - the results are in for the 3rd verse,
and it looks like I finished out of the money... Oh well. Verse
4/08 - RR#40 arrived with the good news that my verse
4 got another runner-up position. Yay and on to Verse 5...
- Another finish in the money with RR#41 on the fifth
verse. Goodie, goodie, goodie! Now, where's Verse 6?
by Edgar Allen Poe
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 someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at
my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more."
distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor
Eagerly I wished the morrow, vainly I had sought to borrow
Surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore
Nameless here forevermore
us looms a dank month found, within its days no blooms abound
Wood which burns now dying down, gasping glows cast light
for dawn," I quickly say. "Distract my thoughts
that too soon stray"
"Towards a girl I lost that day!" - how I miss that
A singular saintly girl whom halo-folk call "L'nor"
Anonymous now, all sorrows soar.
the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before
So that now to still the beating of my heart I stood repeating,
"Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door.
That it is, and nothing more."
curtains softly wafting, cracking air with sounds now lofting
- panics from my not too distant past which I now fought
So to slow my blood from coursing, this aloud my mind was
"Causing calm's quick divorcing, what visitor wants now my
"In causing calm's divorcing, 'tis a visitor wants my thought.
Without doubt, it is but naught."
my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you" - here I opened wide
Darkness there and nothing more.
slowly through this pausing, past confusions of my causing
"Sir," said I, "or madam, could you grant a pardon if you might?"
For my mind was mildly drifting, through thoughts which I was
Your faint knock hardly shifting, shifting wits off of my plight"
-- Moving quickly, door flung outward, looking hard, but naught
Black abyss now shrouds this night.
into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!"
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!"
Merely this, and nothing more.
black night now simply staring, shut my mind to stop this caring,
Hauting hallucinations hit, soon old horrors start to pour;
no sound could stop my thinking, nor my sad soul and brain from
Coiling back now as though shrinking from a murky word "Lenore!"
This from my lips, and again it sounds, a frightfull call, "Lenore!"
All this loss sits at my door.
into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before,
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something
at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore
Let my heard be still a moment and this mystery explore:
'Tis the wind and nothing more."
I really should go back to the first verse and actually write one,
but have remained reasonably lazy on that point. I'm pretty much
transfixed by solving the whole problem of "Nevermore",
the very specific and e-heavy utterance of the raven, which will
repeat into the later verses.
that's the whole challenge, isn't it?