Tonight we will be examining the heartfelt poem ‘Annabel Lee’ by Edgar Allan Poe. You may already be familiar with his famous poem ‘The Raven’, or one of his creepy tales, such as ‘The Tell-tale Heart’. While some of his work was not accepted in his era as it was considered daunting and a new concept, today his work is very popular and he is considered as one of America’s best writers. Edgar Allan Poe was an American poet and author and was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, America. He had a troubled childhood, as his father abandoned their family earlier on and his mother passed away when he was aged 3. He was separated from his two siblings and was sent to live with John and Frances Allan who acted as his foster parents, though never formally adopted him. At the age of 18 he enlisted in the United States Army and was surrounded by death, which he portrays in many of his poems. At age 27, he married the love of his life, his 13 year old cousin, Virginia, in 1836. Eleven years on, the death of his true love, Virginia, sent Poe into a downward spiral of drinking and depression which he could never recover from. He tried to marry other women to fill the despair in his heart from the loss of Virginia, but he wasn’t able to. He died only two years later, and his death is still a mystery. The loss which Poe had faced in this life provided great influence upon the type of poetry he wrote and the theme of lost love in his work.
‘Annabel Lee’ was Poe’s final work and was published in 1849. ‘Annabel Lee’ describes a man who falls in love with a young woman named, Annabel Lee. The love they shared was so intense that the author believes the angels in Heaven became so jealous, they killed Annabel. The man is so devastated of her sudden death, but does not give up on their love. Every night he dreams of her and sleeps next to her tomb. The theme of lost love in this poem creates a gloomy and depressed mood for the readers because they are able to sense how much he truly loved her and the pain he was going through.
The use of poetic devices also helped to construct a meaningful and heart felt poem. This poem contains 6 stanzas, 3 of which have 6 lines, another 2 have 8 lines, and one has 7 lines. We will now hear a cover of Poe’s heartfelt poem, ‘Annabel Lee’.
I was a child and she was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—
With a love that the wingèd seraphs of Heaven
Coveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
My beautiful Annabel Lee;
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—
Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we—
Of many far wiser than we—
And 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;
Repetition of the words “kingdom by the sea”, “Annabel Lee” and “beautiful” are used throughout the poem. Alliteration is also used throughout the poem and is evident when he described how the woman died, “a wind blew out of a cloud, chilling my beautiful Annabel Lee” (3rd stanza, 3rd and 4th line). The use of imagery is used when he described the man to be lying next to her tomb by the sounding sea. Rhyme is also another device used in this poem, however it does not follow a pattern.
The theme of love is seen right through this poem – such as eternal love, true love, and of course lost love. The invited reading of this poem ‘Annabel Lee’ is a combination