The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe – 1845
The Raven is the most well known poem penned by Poe, and quite probably the most famous poem in all of horror. It’s quite a lengthy piece – certainly much longer than the five line limericks I was quite partial to writing when I was at school – but it has a good, consistent rhythm and quite the creepy atmosphere.
Now, hands up: I’m not much of a poetry professor. I know some of it rhymes and some of it doesn’t. But if you’re the kind of person who gets excited about iambic pentameter and the differences between a haiku and a tanka, you’ll likely have a better time talking to someone else.
Poe was one of the founding fathers of the horror genre – a guy you would be hard pressed not to put on your Mount Rushmore of that particular field – but as synonymous as his name is with the genre, Poe only completed one novel in his life. It’s very impressive to have made such a lasting impression based on short stories and poetry exclusively, and The Raven is a piece that will be talked about for years to come.