30 Riveting Raven Quotes about the Birds’ Diverse Reputations

Ravens of the Corvus genus, together with crows, are mysterious black birds we often associate with bad omens. They are perhaps best known for their role in Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven," where Poe uses them as symbols of grief. Furthermore, society also sees them as intelligent creatures, which various researchers have backed up. Our compilation of raven quotes below explores their symbolism and smarts referenced in literature, nature, and more. 

Ravens and crows are almost similar, but we can differentiate them by size, beak, wings, and sound. First, ravens are larger with longer, slightly curved beaks, while crows are pigeon-sized with almost straight beaks. 

When they fly, ravens soar with pointed tail feathers, while crows frequently flap their wings with fan-shaped feather tips. Next, the less sociable ravens prefer wilder habitats and produce low-pitched croaks. In contrast, the sociable crows inhabit urban areas and make high-pitched caws.

Carry on reading for more interesting information about the ravens.

Related: Fascinated by our feathered bird friends? You might also like our baby crow facts and a rundown on the world’s smallest birds.

Best Raven Quotes To Teach How To Be Clever And Smart

Aside from talking like a parrot, ravens have demonstrated impressive cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and social intelligence in many studies. For example, a 2020 study claims that young ravens, as early as four months old, already have full-blown cognitive performance similar to adult apes2.

In an experiment, researchers taught a raven how to use a tool to release a treat from a box. Then, after a few minutes, they gave the bird objects, one of which was the tool. Even with 17-hour delays, the ravens will choose the right tool 90% of the time. They also offered the bird a token in exchange for a food reward. On multiple occasions, they will choose the tokens over the low-quality food 73% of the time1.

Are you impressed? Check out these raven quotes that show how bright the birds are, or read up more on our bird facts to learn more yourself about the world of birds.

"On the road to wisdom, behave like a raven and observe everything carefully!" -Mehmet Murat İldan #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #changetheworld #raven #wisdom
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"On the road to wisdom, behave like a raven and observe everything carefully!"

- Mehmet Murat İldan

"Cruel birds—ravens—but wise. And creatures should be loved for their wisdom if they cannot be loved for kindness." -Hannah Kent #trvst #quotes #gogreen #bethechange #raven #wisdom
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"Cruel birds—ravens—but wise. And creatures should be loved for their wisdom if they cannot be loved for kindness."

- Hannah Kent

"Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by the smell of carrion?" -Friedrich Nietzsche #trvst #quotes #bethechange #impact #raven #wisdom #earth
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"Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by the smell of carrion?"

- Friedrich Nietzsche

"To fight the raven, you may make alliance with the serpent until the battle is done." -Robert Jordan #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #changetheworld #raven
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"To fight the raven, you may make alliance with the serpent until the battle is done."

- Robert Jordan

"A fairly good crow or a raven can lay pretty nearly as good an egg." -Henrik Ibsen #trvst #quotes #bethechange #impact #raven
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"A fairly good crow or a raven can lay pretty nearly as good an egg."

- Henrik Ibsen

Raven Quotes About Bad Omens And Other Cultural Depictions

Humans have associated ravens throughout many cultures with dark, mysterious, and even sinister symbolism. For example, in Greek mythology, a raven, a symbol of Apollo, the god of prophecy, is a messenger of the gods in the mortal world. In medieval times, many believed seeing a raven before a battle would bring doom to the warriors. From Jewish teachings, a dream where a raven perches on the head means death.

With the scavengers' black appearance and hoarse croaks, it was no surprise how people have correlated the birds with death. Read the raven quotes below to get a glimpse of this symbolism.

"Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as ravens claws." -Jim Morrison #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #bethechange #raven
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"Death makes angels of us all and gives us wings where we had shoulders smooth as ravens claws."

- Jim Morrison

"Sorrow is not a raven perched persistently above a chamber door. Sorrow is a thing with teeth, and while in time it retreats, it comes back at the whisper of its name." -Dean Koontz #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #changetheworld #raven
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"Sorrow is not a raven perched persistently above a chamber door. Sorrow is a thing with teeth, and while in time it retreats, it comes back at the whisper of its name."

- Dean Koontz

"For this reason, the lean wolf in the world rejoiced, and the dark raven, a bird greedy for slaughter." -Cynewulf #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #impact #raven #world #bird
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"For this reason, the lean wolf in the world rejoiced, and the dark raven, a bird greedy for slaughter."

- Cynewulf

"The cry of a young raven is nothing but the natural cry of a creature. But your cry, if it be sincere, is the result of a work of grace in your heart." -Charles Spurgeon #trvst #quotes #bethechange #ecoconscious #raven #young #natural
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"The cry of a young raven is nothing but the natural cry of a creature. But your cry, if it be sincere, is the result of a work of grace in your heart."

- Charles Spurgeon

"The raven's house is built with reeds. Sing woe, and alas is me! And the raven's couch is spread with weeds, high on the hollow tree; and the raven himself, telling his beads in penance for his past misdeeds, upon the top I see." -Thomas D'Arcy McGee #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #socialimpact #raven #tree
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"The raven's house is built with reeds. Sing woe, and alas is me! And the raven's couch is spread with weeds, high on the hollow tree; and the raven himself, telling his beads in penance for his past misdeeds, upon the top I see."

- Thomas D'Arcy McGee

Other Metaphorical Raven Quotes To Think About

Ravens with leucistic genes, like the rescued bird in a recovery Centre in Canada, have white plumage, beaks, and talons. Similar to nature's occurrence of the white bird, ravens also have a positive symbolism. 

Throughout the Bible, ravens are signs of God's love for humankind, as seen in verses like Job 38:41 and Luke 12:24. The bird is also an essential character in the story of the prophet Elijah and the brothers Abel and Cain. From Jewish teachings, a dream where a raven flies in front of you means you will find your livelihood.

With so much to learn about ravens, check out other metaphorical raven quotes below.

"The raven spread out its glossy wings and departed like hope." -Cecilia Dart-Thornton #trvst #quotes #socialchange #gogreen #raven
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"The raven spread out its glossy wings and departed like hope."

- Cecilia Dart-Thornton

"One raven does not peck out another's eyes." -Danish proverb #trvst #quotes #takeaction #ecoconscious #raven
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"One raven does not peck out another's eyes."

- Danish proverb

"When I die, let the black rag fly raven falling from the sky." -George Woodcock #trvst #quotes #impact #socialchange #raven
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"When I die, let the black rag fly raven falling from the sky."

- George Woodcock

"My love, she's like some raven at my window with a broken wing." -Bob Dylan #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #impact #raven #love
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"My love, she's like some raven at my window with a broken wing."

- Bob Dylan

"No doves come from ravens’ eggs." -Hannah Kent #trvst #quotes #dogood #impact #raven
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"No doves come from ravens’ eggs."

- Hannah Kent

Quotes About Ravens From Edgar Allan Poe

The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe's poem, is one of the most prominent pieces of literature. Renowned for its dark imagery and themes of grief, loss, and sadness, the poem follows a man mourning the death of his lover, Lenore, and is visited by a raven that speaks only one word - "Nevermore." 

Poe was most likely inspired by his personal experiences, as he lost his mother and wife to tuberculosis and lived with depression and substance use disorder. 

After reading some excerpts from the poem with striking imagery through our raven quotes below, analyze the poem yourself

"Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, 'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'" -Edgar Allan Poe #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #changetheworld #raven #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, 'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore— Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!' Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'"

- Edgar Allan Poe

"Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore." -Edgar Allan Poe #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #changetheworld #raven #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore."

- Edgar Allan Poe

"For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore- nameless here forevermore." -Edgar Allan Poe #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #changetheworld #raven #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore- nameless here forevermore."

- Edgar Allan Poe

"Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 'Wretch,' I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee Respite—respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!' Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'" -Edgar Allan Poe #trvst #quotes #beinspired #dogood #raven #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor. 'Wretch,' I cried, 'thy God hath lent thee—by these angels he hath sent thee Respite—respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore; Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!' Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'"

- Edgar Allan Poe

"Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before." -Edgar Allan Poe #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #beinspired #raven #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before."

- Edgar Allan Poe

"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing." -Edgar Allan Poe #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #changetheworld #raven #darkness #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing."

- Edgar Allan Poe

"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked, upstarting— 'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!' Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'" -Edgar Allen Poe #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #planetearthfirst #raven #bird #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked, upstarting— 'Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!' Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'"

- Edgar Allen Poe

"Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; This it is, and nothing more." -Edgar Allan Poe #trvst #quotes #bethechange #ecoconscious #raven #edgarallanpoe #poetry
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"Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; This it is, and nothing more."

- Edgar Allan Poe

Noteworthy Raven Quotes From Authors And Poets

Even if you haven't read Poe's The Raven, you will have most likely encountered ravens in different books and media already. For example, the evil queen in Snow White has a raven companion. In Sleeping Beauty, Diablo the raven is Maleficent's right hand.

In the acclaimed books and TV shows by George R.R. Martin, the citizens of Westeros use ravens to communicate with one another. And finally, in Othello, Shakespeare uses the ravens to foreshadow the tragic death of the protagonist.

Even in the English language, it's clear how we portray ravens. The collective nouns for the birds are rave, treachery, unkindness, and conspiracy. Despite that, we marvel at the large corvids through different art forms. Improve your writing skills and vocabulary as you read the rest of our raven quotes from authors and poets.

"Day is a snow-white dove of heaven that from the East glad message brings. Night is a stealthy, evil raven, wrapped to the eyes in his black wings." -Thomas Bailey Aldrich #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #bethechange #raven
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"Day is a snow-white dove of heaven that from the East glad message brings. Night is a stealthy, evil raven, wrapped to the eyes in his black wings."

- Thomas Bailey Aldrich

"Like a feather in a dust storm with no direction, the raven flies through life, helpless and omitted, until night declares and the wind expires. Then it flies to the land of stones and etchings, and becomes an ember breaking away." -Jessica Sorensen #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #thinkgreen #raven #life #storm #wind
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"Like a feather in a dust storm with no direction, the raven flies through life, helpless and omitted, until night declares and the wind expires. Then it flies to the land of stones and etchings, and becomes an ember breaking away."

- Jessica Sorensen

"Love's torments made me seek the chase; rifle in hand, I roam'd apace. Down from the tree, with hollow scoffs, the raven cried, ‘Head-off! head off!'" -Heinrich Heine #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #changetheworld #raven #tree
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"Love's torments made me seek the chase; rifle in hand, I roam'd apace. Down from the tree, with hollow scoffs, the raven cried, ‘Head-off! head off!'"

- Heinrich Heine

"O, it comes o'er my memory, as doth the raven o'er the infected house, boding to all." -William Shakespeare #trvst #quotes #bethechange #planetearthfirst #raven
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"O, it comes o'er my memory, as doth the raven o'er the infected house, boding to all."

- William Shakespeare

"Needless to say, urgings by ravens are ignored at one’s peril." -James D. Doss #trvst #quotes #bethechange #bethechange #raven
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"Needless to say, urgings by ravens are ignored at one’s peril."

- James D. Doss

"If there are words and wrongs like knives, whose deep inflicted lacerations never heal…so, too, there are consolations of tone too fine for the ear not fondly and for ever to retain their echo: caressing kindnesses - loved, lingered over through a whole life, recalled with unfaded tenderness, and answering the call with undimmed shine, out of that raven cloud foreshadowing Death himself." -Charlotte Brontë #trvst #quotes #beinspired #dogood #raven #life
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"If there are words and wrongs like knives, whose deep inflicted lacerations never heal…so, too, there are consolations of tone too fine for the ear not fondly and for ever to retain their echo: caressing kindnesses - loved, lingered over through a whole life, recalled with unfaded tenderness, and answering the call with undimmed shine, out of that raven cloud foreshadowing Death himself."

- Charlotte Brontë

"Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens." -George R. R. Martin #trvst #quotes #impact #socialchange #raven
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"Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens."

- George R. R. Martin

Pin Me:
Pin Image Portrait 30 Riveting Raven Quotes about the Birds’ Diverse Reputations
1

Claudia Wascher, Béatrice Feider, Thomas Bugnyar, Valerie Dufour. Crows and common ravens do
not reciprocally exchange tokens with a conspecific to gain food rewards
. Ethology, 2020, 126 (2),
pp.278 - 287. ff10.1111/eth.12970ff. ffhal-02395404v2f

2

Pika, S., Sima, M.J., Blum, C.R. et al. Ravens parallel great apes in physical and social cognitive skills. Sci Rep 10, 20617 (2020).

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