Quaint and Curious - Parodies and Pastiches of Poe's The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” was first published in January 1845. It was an instant success and, thanks to its characteristic mood and tight rhyming scheme, proved eminently imitable. It became, in a way, a nineteenth-century meme, with people taking up its verse-form and scenario for their own ends, be they comic, satiric, or serious.

This collection of parodies and pastiches isn’t by any means exhaustive, but is at least, hopefully, representative. I’ve only included whole poems (no fragments), and only poems that are out of copyright, but aside from that, as long as they bear sufficient resemblance to Poe’s original and aren’t outright offensive, I have no strict guidelines. Not all of the parodies are still funny, of course, and not all of the poetry is equal to Poe’s metrical discipline. If you want a recommendation, my favourites are The Parrot and Chateaux D’Espagne.

The dates I give are the earliest dates I can find for a poem’s publication, but many were reprinted, often without much in the way of acknowledgement of where they first appeared. Often, also, they were printed without a byline, or with an obvious pseudonym, but where possible I’ve tried to track down who actually wrote it. I’ve provided footnotes to some of the poems, in particular the political satires, which sometimes refer to obscure figures and events.


A lot of “Raven” parodies & pastiches can be found in Walter Hamilton’s Parodies of the Works of English and American Authors, Volume II (1884). Others can be found in the individual sources listed on each poem’s page, some of which are available on Archive.org, or on online newspaper archives, such as the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America, and The British Newspaper archive.