Raven comes to life through rendition at Sigma celebration

Attendee Kevin Anderson pets a dog that was dubbed aedgar Allen Pup. Antonio Hebert/The Bells

Attendee Kevin Anderson pets a dog that was dubbed aedgar Allen Pup. Antonio Hebert/The Bells

Once upon a stormy night, while I listened, bemused and busy,

Over many an informal and familiar volume of rhythmic lore—

… suddenly there came a happening, as of someone loudly squawking

… Ah, distinctly I remember it was the ancient raven’s “Nevermore!”

 Parody of “The Raven.”

On Jan. 29, 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven” was published in the New York Evening Mirror. Most are familiar with the poem, and it’s hard to forget, especially for those who heard senior English major Marnie Cannon’s rendition of the raven’s voice at Sigma Tau Delta’s Edgar Allan Poe party Oct. 30.

Cannon is the president of Sigma, and she put a voice to the squawking raven that caused attendees to see Poe’s bird in a new light.

“I love doing silly little things like that,” she said.

The party began at 8 p.m., giving the sun a chance to slip into bed. A dark, stormy night accentuated the creepy aspects of the party as students, faculty, and one dog, known as Edgar Allan Pup, arrived.

Things kicked off with snacks and refreshments. There seemed to be a little bit of everything—from five layered dip to Cannon’s “pumpkin pizza,” she said, “which were just cheese pizzas that had two cheeses to make it look slightly like a pumpkin, without the stem.”

Cannon said that in the past there were too many sweets at the event, but this year’s food “set up was a really nice balance.”

Senior graphic design major Diana Fadal agrees. She was one of several non-English majors in attendance; she said that the party “was really fun” and she would attend future Sigma events.

And that’s the type of environment the organization hopes to create.

“If you enjoy anything to do with literature and writing and like being around people, then we are happy to have you,” Cannon said. “Many of our events, like the Poe Party, are open to the entire campus.”

Shortly after everyone had time to get snacks and refreshments, the traditional reading of “The Raven” began.

“How can you have a Poe party and not read ‘The Raven,’” said senior English major Rachel Almeida, who was dressed as Ursula from The Little Mermaid.

English chair Dr. Jacky Dumas dressed as Indiana Jones for the Edgar Allen Poe party. Antonio Hebert/The Bells

English chair Dr. Jacky Dumas dressed as Indiana Jones for the Edgar Allen Poe party. Antonio Hebert/The Bells

A costume contest was also on the agenda.

“There was Medusa and Midas. There was a frog … there were some Harry Potter characters,” Fadal said.

But her favorite was “the guy who came as Wolverine.”

A trivia contest tasked attendees to solve riddles regarding different school buildings and locations.

Then the group gathered to tell of their encounters with apparitions and ghosts. Fadal said that of all the stories, English chair Jacky Dumas’, dressed as Indiana Jones, was the scariest.

The party turned out to be a precursor to Halloween. It was a party even Poe would have enjoyed.

Students who missed out on the party will be able to attend the organization’s Shakespeare Festival in the spring and to join Sigma Tau Delta, a group that Cannon calls her “second family.”

Author: Tyler Agnew

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