Clip | Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive - Experience Poe’s dramatic readings of “The Raven”

After the extremely successful release of Poe’s “The Raven,” he became famous for his dramatic readings of the poem. Tony Award-winning and Emmy-nominated actor Denis O’Hare (“This Is Us,” “American Horror Story,” “Take Me Out,” “True Blood”) stars as Poe in this documentary.


Major support for Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional support for this film is provided in part by National Endowment for the Arts, Joy Fishman, and Wallace S Wilson.

Transcript Print

They would turn the lights down. He had to read 'The Raven,' of course, over and over. Everybody wanted to hear him read 'The Raven,' and he spoke in a very dramatic voice. It ran in his blood - he was quite the entertainer. 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 someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. 'Tis some visitor, I muttered, tapping at my chamber door. Only this and nothing more. It was a poem about the common plight of people where half of all children died before they reached maturity and everyone understood what he means to grieve.

Then methought the air grew denser perfumed from an unseen censer swung by seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. The silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me, you know. There's a just a lusciousness about the sonorities and so on in a line like that. It had a great impact on me. It really did. And 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 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