‘The Raven’ was almost ‘The Parrot’. When Edgar Allen Poe first conceived of the poem, he wanted a ‘melancholy’ feel and planned to use ‘nevermore’ as a refrain. Deciding that a talking, non- reasoning animal would be the best way to repeat the word, Poe first thought of a parrot – until he realized ravens are ‘equally capable of speech, and infinitely more in keeping with the intended tone.’ Source Source 2