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Ride a Pale Horse
Helen MacInnes
The Samurai's Wife
Laura Joh Rowland
The Raven - Edgar Allan Poe, Ryan Price You know, it's The Raven. It's so good that it still crops up in popular culture all the time. When I read this poem in 8th or 9th grade (ahem) years ago, it floored me. It was fantastic, and I think it's the first time I really appreciated how words could be used together to create the beautiful sounds in poetry. I still love The Raven for that reason.

The poem itself has lost its mystique for me, though, simply because it is so pervasive in popular culture. I mean, when I've been around long enough to see Homer and Bart Simpson perform The Raven, it's just not really possible for this poem to have the same impact on me as it did in 8th grade. I still adore it, and I still think it's one of the finest pieces of American writing I've ever read. But I'm afraid that "[Bart] the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting / On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door."