This is a line-by-Line Comedic Parody of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic “The Raven.”
I have been working on this off and on for the last 3 years of my undergrad career. It is equal parts parody and real events-inspired humor. Hope you enjoy!
(If you meet James Earl Jones, ask him if he’ll record it! My crappy version can be seen/heard here: http://youtu.be/yn99-YDGNGw )
Once upon a midterm’s threshold, while I studied, weak and humbled,
Amid many a pile of towering volumes of forgotten lore,
While I lay there, clearly napping, suddenly there came a clapping,
As of someone gently tapping, tapping near my bedroom door.
“ ‘Tis my roommate,” I muttered, “clapping near my bedroom door;
Only this, and nothing more.”
Ah, vaguely I remember, in the dark depths of November,
How I longed for just an ember, to heat the room that I paid for,
Coldly I wished for the morrow; sunrise helped my student sorrow
Cast light on books I had to borrow, borrow for I was so poor,
For my bare and empty wallet which was known for being poor,
The state of students, evermore.
Was that sound just the caffeine, or a trick of my computer screen?
Flipped me—tripped me out with late night terrors, and I swore;
Cursing the dark and cold, to calm my soul, I kept repeating,
“ ‘Tis my roommate playing a trick with my bedroom door,
My jerk roommate playing a trick with my bedroom door.
That it is, and nothing more.”
Suddenly I gained some nerve; and spoke out to the dark with verve,
“Bro,” said I, “cease at once! You know how your pranks I deplore;
Can’t you see that I was napping, yet annoyingly you came tapping,
Disturbingly you came clapping, clapping at my bedroom door;
Applause so loud you woke me.” Here I threw the door upon the floor;
Darkness there, and nothing more.
Deep into the blackness gazing, I stood there ‘til my eyes were hazing,
Doubting, thinking thoughts most mortals only would abhor;
But the darkness was consuming, and the quiet almost booming,
Then a word was spoken fuming, a whispered threatening word,
“No more.” This I whispered, crossly lifting the broken door,
“No more!” Clearly this, and nothing more.
Back to my studies turning, my eyes within their sockets burning,
Soon again I heard a flapping, something different than before,
“Surely,” said I, “surely, that is him where my window glass is.
Let me rise, then, and teach him truth, for this is surely war.
Let my studies wait a moment, for this is surely war.
‘Tis the end of his clamor.”
Open here I flung the window, and with head bobbing to and fro,
In there stepped a nasty pigeon, who promptly pooped upon my drawer.
No apology made he; but another drop instead there laid he,
Then fluttering against my pleas, he perched upon my bedroom door,
Perched upon the busted pallet that passes as my bedroom door,
Perched, and pooped, and nothing more.
At this dumb bird I was frowning, for my spirits he was downing,
By the so depraved decorum of the countenance it bore,
“See thy crest is worn and weathered, thou,” I said, “art sure a beggar,
Filthy, vile, infested pigeon, stumbling there above my door,
Quit me now forevermore.”
Long I waited for this beast to fly away from here at least,
Though my patience was soon bested. Oh, what a terrible chore!
Resigned to my odious task, I stole a swig from my hidden flask,
And picked up a broom to remove the bird above my bedroom door,
The wretched, distracting bird above my busted bedroom door.
And the pigeon pooped there once more.
Then the pigeon, perching simply, gained from me some ill sympathy;
Could I hit a creature staring dumbly at both wall and floor?
He appeared oh, so nearly dead, he could barely bob his head;
Then to myself I quietly said, “So he remains on my door,
I need not worry about distraction, as I am a Senior.”
Then the bird said, “Sophomore.”
Shocked by an untrue reply then said so strangely by him,
“Truly,” said I, “you know not of my studies done yet before.
Be certain that I am no fool, I brought here from my former school,
Many more credits that I shall fall upon as stock and store.
Yes, the school has promised to take along all my aged store
Of years—years before.”
Then the pigeon’s gaze caught me, and into certain laughing brought me.
Upon my mattress flopping, I stared up at bird on busted door.
His vacant stare made me uneasy, and feeling somewhat queasy,
I took to thinking what such a ragged bird so clearly poor –
What a simple, stupid, shaggy, and ragged bird so clearly poor
Meant in saying, “Sophomore.”
So I sat there deeply thinking, but with no word aloud speaking,
For the bird still stared empty, and yet meaning from it seemed to pour;
I furrowed my brow in thought, my head resting upon the spot,
And saw the outline of a paper, lying upon the floor,
Much like a lost paper I had once left lying upon the floor;
An F I earned as a Sophomore.
Then, methought, the air grew thicker, altered by some bad malt liquor,
Poured by drunkards flunked by same mistake many years before.
“Knave,” I cried, “my God present thee – by these drunkards he hath sent me
Some abasement – issued from your beak upon my broken door!
Take, o take this harsh humility, I will retain the thought of yore!”
Quoth the pigeon, “Sophomore!”
“Stop it!” said I, “thou art vile! Stop it, bird, cease that hateful bile!
Not from God hath this dismay fallen to me upon the floor.
Discouraged, I have been visited by magic so foreign,
And I must know of the origin – tell me truly, I implore:
Do your words – your wretched words – have reason? Tell me, I implore!”
Quote the pigeon, “Sophomore.”
“Stop it!” said I, “thou art vile! Stop it bird, cease this hateful bile!”
Lunging forward now hostile, I slipped on the page I had seen before.
An official sheet still enclosed, bearing words callously composed:
My credits would not be transferred, by ruling of the Board.
Two more years of ceaseless work required, by ruling of the Board.
Quoth the pigeon, “Sophomore.”
“Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting –
“Get thee gone and take with thee the hateful word you meekly roar!
Leave only droppings behind ye, the least of your evil to remind me!
Leave me to my lonely, unending work! – by ruling of the Board!
Take thy bobbing head and wretched eyes from off my busted door!”
Mocked the pigeon, “Sophomore.”
And the pigeon, never quitting, still is sitting, still is shitting,
Upon the busted pallet that passes as my bedroom door;
And his crossed eyes yet remind me, how unending time still grinds me,
And his poop drops down eternal, like my dream I so hoped for,
And my heart dissolves away, like the degree I so hoped for.
Perpetually – a sophomore!