- Apr 2017
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me,From your memories, sad brother—from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,
Various forms of symbolism are shared here between Poe's "The Raven", and Whitman. While the bird in this poem more directly symbolizes a lament for a lost former lover of Whitman's than the raven in "The Raven" represents the evil gloom of Poe's despair, "risings and fallings" of the Whitman's "sea of despair" relate to Poe's use of the eventual cresting of his despair when the raven arrives in his chamber, "Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore,— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" According to "The Limits of Whitman's Symbolism" by V. K. Chari, the sea in Whitman's poem, "acquires a subtle symbolic power by the suggested equivalence between its savage undertones and moanings, its * fitful risings and fallings ' and the inarticulate sobbings of the poet's heart."<br> Chari, V. K. “The Limits of Whitman's Symbolism.” Journal of American Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 1971, pp. 173–184., www.jstor.org/stable/27670641.