Poetry Response #2 due date 11/6/14
Annabel Lee-Edgar Allen Poe
In Edgar Allen Poe’s “Annabel Lee”, the speaker laments how the angels have torn his love away from him, but will never truly be able to keep him apart from her. He uses extensive repetition, mythological imagery, and a fantastical setting to express the everlasting love between Annabel and himself. The speaker accuses Annabel’s “highborn kinsmen (line 16)” of taking her away because the angels were envious of their love. These outlandish accusations express the speaker’s relentless passion and devotion, for he believes that even the angels in heaven would care about and covet the love between him and Annabel Lee.
The poem begins by describing a maiden who “lived with no other thought than to love and be loved by me (line 6).” He repeats the word “love” several times more by saying “we loved with a love that was more than love (line 9).” This repetition heavily emphasizes the driving force behind the speaker’s life, his love for Annabel. However, at the end of the first stanza, the tone of the poem turns bitter when he says “With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven Coveted her and me (line 10-11).” The word-choice of “winged seraphs of Heaven” enhances the whimsical nature of the poem, for even these majestic, powerful beings would desire their love.
In the second stanza, the speaker says that Annabel’s “highborn kinsmen came And bore her away from me (line 17-18).” This suggests that Annabel is of high social status, and her kinsmen disapproved of their love. Later in stanza four, he says that “our love was stronger by far than the love Of those who were older than we (line 27-28).” This harkens back to the “highborn kinsmen” for he is defending their love by saying it was stronger than the disapproval of the older people. The speaker goes on to say that “neither the angels in Heaven above, Nor the demons down under the sea, Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee (line 29-32).” He is again speaking of the angels, but this time he is denying their power to take Annabel away from him. He uses contrasting imagery of the