Let’s hear the fanfare – Lizzy’s read a poem! Thanks to the wackiness of Jasper Fforde.

One of the questions on the reading group guide to the Eyre affair was:  “Which sentence do you think is worsedeath by a silver bullet to the heart or an eternity trapped in Poe’s “The Raven”? ”  Completely unanswerable if you’re unfamiliar with the Poe’s ominous black bird.

A quick virtual trolley dash (because the book’s not available at my library) and I found myself in possession of a delightful edition, published by Dodo Press.  (Serendipity at work here as all those familiar with Fforde’s pet dodos will understand.)  In addition to a rather incomprehensible mid-C19th introduction (let’s hear it for 21st century plain English), there’s a series of a dozen dark gothic drawings, emphasising the ominous foreboding atmosphere.

Don’t ask me to comment on meter, cadence and other poetic subtleties – I need to work on my poetry appreciation skills.  Regardless I was utterly transported by the strong narrative.

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.’

Read the remainder here.