Once upon a midnight dreary, as I pondered weak and weary,

over many a quaint and curious options to which to raise a glass…

Raise a glass today to Edgar Allen Poe’s masterpiece of horror and poetry, The Raven, published for the first time this day in 1845.

The poem, made up of 18 stanzas of 6 lines of trochaic octameter verse, is one of the most read and recognized pieces of American poetry ever written.  The opening line, “Once upon a midnight dreary,” instantly calls to mind the late night setting in which the protagonist pleads with a dark specter of a bird, receiving only the one word despairing answer of “nevermore.”

Poe was born in Boston, but despite his notoriety and popularity died penniless in Baltimore in 1849 at the too early age of 40.  He has inspired generations of writers and cosmologists, and inspired the name of an NFL Football franchise.

Raise a glass today to The Raven, and Poe’s lost love, Lenore!  Cheers!