“The Dream Is Still Alive” and the poem “The Raven”

Many people think that the song and the poem have much in common, but others do not agree. One argument in support of the similarity, which is common to both arts, is rhyme. Neither first nor second type of art does not exist without rhyme. It is possible only for the blank verse that is written in unrhymed pentameter and resembles the ordinary speech. Repetition, accent, rhythm, meter, sequence, and climax also belong to the similarities between the song and the poem. 

One thing to remember is that, even if two different works of art such as the song “The Dream Is Still Alive” and the poem “The Raven” have similar components and general descriptions, they can be very different in their structure. In this essay it will be identified which differences and similarities have the poem and the song on the examples of the chosen works. 

The affinity of songs and poetry is an integral part of the arts in general, but that has not always been the case. Nevertheless, one should accept that there are a lot of historical and conceptual differences between them. Even that song, which is very similar to the poem, contains a great contrast. Poetry, basically, represents grammar and rhetoric origin, but song has science and mathematics one.           

In spite of some constructive differences, song and verse share many similar ideas. Poetry and song are made from words that are representatives of reality. However, the language of them can be abstract sometimes. To understand it better, one must take concrete examples and compare their similarities and differences.

“The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe is a beautifully articulated, musical-sounding poem, which takes place at winter midnight in the chamber, where the ominous bird flew. A black bird attends the narrator, a man who has lost his love - Lenore. The Raven sits in the room above the door and says only one thing - "Nevermore". This is aggravated by the slow and irreversible human’s entry to some sort of madness. The man believes that this bird is a messenger from the devil and a real sign of death. Nevertheless, he hopes for his wife’s coming back. The bird does not leave hope to him, each time answering questions in the same way. The poem illustrates the physical terror and describes the psychological torture of the man, doomed to suffering. “It will be observed that the words, “from out my heart,” involve the first metaphorical expression in the poem. They, with the answer, “Nevermore,” dispose the mind to seek a moral in all that has been previously narrated. The reader begins now to regard the Raven as emblematical...” (Poe 167).

There is only one song, which involuntarily associated with the poem “Raven” during its reading. It is “The Dream Is Still Alive” by Xandria. The representation of the feelings in the verse perceives the information through the veil of the soul, which creates some kind of music in the imagination.  The music in this song clearly conveys a picture of grief, sadness, and sorrow.  Emotions, feelings, memories of the past make the song similar to the Poe’s poem. Even that magic music in the song resembles the frame of mind of the main character in the poem.

“The Raven” is written in the first person singular voice, whereas the other work is in the first person plural voice. The difference also lies in the fact that the protagonist in the poem is a man and in the song it is a woman. Notwithstanding, the drama surrounding these two works provided a huge inspiration.

Concerning the poem, the man does not want to abandon his hope. He believes that he will be able to meet with his lost love in the future. Just the similar situation is observed in the song. Moreover, it has a reason for grief. After the first lead, singer left the group's ranks, and they could not find a suitable singer for a long time. The search was very long, but the group did not lose faith and hope. They eventually found a vocalist, whom they were looking for. According to Manuela Kraller, the current lead singer of German symphonic metal band “Xandria”:

“The Dream Is Still Alive” is an important song for us, because it was not easy to go on for Xandria without a singer for a long time and now that I am with them we can say “The dream can go on” (Pardo).

These two works are much more than an ordinary poem and a song. There is something mystical, something ritualistic in their rhythms, and repetition of keywords in the structure sounds like spell. This spell works only during reading the verse and listening to the song: the world around suddenly became cloaked in mystery and shrouded in silence, in which all the rustling sounds are clearer and clearer.

Love and sorrow, light and darkness take the most fanciful forms in its desperation. It would be better to be prepared for the fact that the images and symbols inspired by “The Raven” and “The Dream Is Still Alive” will be spinning in one's mind for a long time.

The common theme of these two works is longing and sadness of lost things. The past cannot come back, no matter how beautiful or awful it was. In the verse and in the song, the main characters had felt the most joyous moments and the most severe mental anguish in their past. In the song, the heroine has left the past behind, but her dream is still alive. A hero of the poem can not leave his past, because there was the love of his life. Yet, his dream is still alive too. He still hopes that his wife will return. A hero heard that someone knocking at his door when he was almost asleep and deeply lost in thoughts. When he answered - there was not anybody. He thought that it was the soul of Lenore. He longed to see her again. Even when he tried to think about something else, he ended up back at Lenore. The tone of the two works is not different, because the man in the poem and the woman in the song hope for the best. It is a raven which interferes with him to keep this hope. Both works are complete and have a set rhyme. 

Although these two works are composed during different periods of time (“The Raven” 1845, “The Dream Is Still Alive” 2012), they both encompass many styles and techniques to represent similar themes. The main components of this song are: “beautiful piano, orchestration with accompanying strings” (Pardo) and wonderful vocals. The sigh of the singer creates the illusion that that she has lived all life during this song and it adds a dramatic effect.

To draw the conclusion, one can say that “The Raven” has almost as many similarities with the song as differences. It is a display of horror in the nature, it is a poem about the hopelessness of grief, with repetitive refrain-cawing crow, that control the storm of the lonely dreamer, longing for his lost love – “Nevermore!”. The song “The Dream Is Still Alive” has more positive aspects, though the notes of sadness and gloom inherent in it too.

The brilliant technique of rhyme, the perfect sound in the form of the most unusual effects, the mood of these two works are the keys to both the originality and the similarity between them. Despite some differences, the most important peculiarities of these two artworks are the tone, the longing of lost things, mystical, ritualistic structure, and the effect of notional variations. Therefore, the drama surrounding these two works is very impressive, memorable and provides a huge inspiration.