An examination of all eighteen of the poems that imitated “The Raven” known to have been published during Poe's lifetime suggests that, though all of them are grounded in “The Raven,” the grounding is varied and overlapping, ranging from commercial applications; to political satire; to praise or criticism of Poe himself as a person, author, editor, or book reviewer; to more upbeat dramatizations of mourning and the afterlife; to more and less gentle parodies of the poem. Attending to these differences provides insights into the impact of Poe's famous poem as both a literary work and a meditation on death, loss, and mourning. Also—in part because Poe paid attention to some of these poems as they came out, especially to ones published in 1845—looking at them sheds new light on biographical details, including Poe's contemporaneous reputation, willingness to consider alternative ideas, beliefs about racial bias, and engagement with the Boston literary establishment.

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