Ravens

I work in a pretty rural area, and I have a huge picture window in my office.  One of the things I love is the wildlife that I see on a daily basis.  It’s not uncommon to see white-tailed deer grazing in the field across the street.

There are crows that live near here, and they are very curious birds.  They will venture very close to the building.  I’ve had them sit right outside my window.  I love seeing that, and will watch them from time to time.  Lately, they’ve stayed away because there’s road construction going on here, and I’ve found that I’m missing them.  I hope they come back when it’s all over.

I love crows, they are my favorite birds, by far.  They are so huge and beautiful.  Black as night, with a wingspan of about 3 feet across.  I love these birds because they remind me, of course, of their big cousins: the ravens.

The raven is a crow, but not all crows are ravens (as a lot of people mistake).  Ravens get quite large at 2 feet from head to tail, with wingspans of 4-5 feet across.  That is amazing to me, and I would love to see one in person. 

What is most interesting to me are the legends and stories involving these birds.  They have always been thought of as bad omens.

The Norsemen believe that their god, Odin, had ravens (named Huginn and Muninn) that gathered information and brought it back to him.  They saw and heard everything, and their standard perch was on his shoulders.  Ravens are known as the ghosts of murdered victims in Sweden.  In Germany, they are known as the souls of the damned.  In Danish folklore, they have a being called a “Valravn”, which is a supernatural raven.  It was believed that this bird consumed the king’s heart and gained human knowledge.  The Valravn turned into a knight after consuming the heart of a child.

The most well-known story, and the reason I found myself so intrigued with the raven, is the famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe.  I love the story because it is a truly tragic tale.  This man, having lost the love of his life is in such despair.  The raven takes a front row seat to (and helps along) his decent into madness.

Poe picked the raven specifically because of its melancholic and mournful nature.  Since reading his poem, I also connect the raven to insanity.  I am obsessively intrigued by insanity,  so you can see why I felt the connection.

To me, crows are like small ravens, and I miss the ones that usually appear outside my window immensely. 

When will they come back…Nevermore?

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Comically Inept
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 18:58:40

    I don’t want to bring up a sore subject, but your dream about your cat reminded me of the Poe story “The Black Cat,” and now comes this mention of “The Raven.” Synchronicity?

    Reply

  2. Clara
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 00:59:33

    I hope they come back to visit you soon!

    Reply

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