It was on this day in 1845 that Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" was first published in the New York Evening Mirror. It begins:
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 some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more."
Poe became famous almost immediately. Within a few years, "The Raven" had been reprinted in newspapers and magazines across the country, and included in poetry anthologies. Poe became a popular lecturer and dinner party performer, where his recitations of the poem were legendary.
"The Raven" became the target of many parodies. Abraham Lincoln, a country lawyer at the time, read a parody before he read the real thing. Lincoln eventually committed all of "The Raven" to memory.
Lifted from The Writer's Almanac