The poem starts with the young student reading in his chamber on a stormy night. He is only half-heartedly studying because his thoughts are also preoccupied by his deceased mistress, Lenore. When a knock at the door sounds, he assumes that it is a visitor standing outside his door. When he opens it, there is no one there. He closes the door and opens the window believing that the knocking sound he previously heard was just the wind.
A raven flies into the room and sits upon a statue. The student begins to question the raven on various subjects. The raven only responds with "Nevermore" to each question. As the student continues to question the bird, each question becomes more painful and personal as they relate to his lost mistress. The poem ends with the raven still sitting upon the statue.
When the raven first enters the room, the young student is amused by his appearance. By the end of the poem, the student views the raven as a satanic force whose presence is torturous to him.Learn more about Poetry