‘Annabel Lee’ is one of the famous poems by the American poet Edgar Allan Poe. Critics used to say that ‘Annabel Lee’ is the last composed poem by Edgar Allan Poe.
The poem was written in 1849 but came to the readers after his death. As it is a last written poem, readers celebrate the theme in positive ways. ”Annabel Lee’ was the love of the narrator and her death is being the central idea of the poem.
Annabel Lee Theme
In the beginning, Edgar Allan Poe was talking about his love for the maiden but after some time suddenly the story changes into another path.
Destruction of love, sorrow for losing hope comes in. The poem is representing only Poe’s sorrow for his love, Annabel Lee. It also represents ‘Dirge’ that means a death song.
As the poet is expressing the sorrow of the poet so can be a dirge. Expect sorrow, losing hope is another theme of the poem.
Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe Summary
The poem is starting with an image of the sea that looking energetic. Many years ago, the narrator saw a woman in the kingdom of the sea. The woman is called Annabel Lee.
“And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.”
Later the woman becomes the love of the narrator at his young age. The maiden lived with none she stays alone at her place. So, here the first stanza ends with the description of love.
In the second stanza, he addressed himself as a child and says when he was a child she was too a child. They both were living the sea kingdom. Maybe the poet is addressing pirates or something else.
“But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—”
The narrator and Annabel Lee both loved each other even more than love. It was only them who loved each other more than the love itself. Their love winged like an angel or ‘Seraphs of heavens. It coveted them both.
Annabel Lee Poem Lyrics
The third stanza starts with an incident that happens to him. Suddenly, in this kingdom of the sea, a wind comes up with the clouds to the land.
” My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,”
The wind comes and lets her chill forever. Her highborn kinsmen come to her and take her away from the poet. This is such a pathetic because the maiden gets died and people take her away from the narrator.
To express his own sorrows Poe says ‘bore her away’. They shut her up in a ‘sepulcher’ and take her away. ‘sepulchre’ means a coffin to bury her.
“The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me—”
The fourth stanza starts with these lines where he is addressing her as an ‘angel’ who is very happy by going to heaven and let the narrator stay calm in the world.
Place their memories in the heart of the poet. Then he utters, everyone knows how she passed away.
“That the wind came out of the cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.”
She is being snatched by the wind of clouds in a night and it chilled her and killed her. Poet’s love passed away, the rough wind takes her away.
Now he is saying that their love was harder than ‘love’ that would never end. He knows older men than them and has many wishes better than them.
He takes inspiration from their lives and utters of the angel of heaven neither have above of them even nor the demon has beneath the sea. That is why they can not separate the poet’s heart from her beloved’s or of Annabel Lee’s.
Annabel Lee and Edgar Allan Poe Relationship
The stanza is very relevant to the context as here the narrator talks about their possession of love. Moon can never beam without letting the narrator bring back his dreams. The dreams would be with Annabel Lee.
“But I feel the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,”
The poet can feel her eyes that had a love for him. That night he was lying down at that side when they fetch Annabel Lee’s tomb. The next line has many more things to say.
The narrator is aching for her beloved ‘my darling-my darling-my life and bride’s. Such a kind of sorrow, the cry comes when he called Annabel Lee as the bride and life that flies away from her soul.
The sepulchre goes far, far from him and it sounds by the tide of the sea. This is a pathetic poem about losing a love of life. It becomes more pathetic when one leaves another.
Annabel Lee Analysis
According to Edgar Allan Poe, this poem prevails in his childhood memories with the maiden Annabel Lee. He speaks for himself in another poem ‘Alone’ that he was lonely in his childhood.
Maybe Annabel Lee was the reason for having the worst childhood memory. There is much complexity about his childhood. Critics say he may truly lose his first love and to whom he calls ‘my bride’s.
The emotion that he presented is so monotonous and sorrowful. It can be said when Poe becomes older he writes the poem. Even at that time, he could not remove Annabel Lee from his mind. That prevails that he truly loves the woman. He, himself says,
“Those who dream by day are cognizant
of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
The poem is being divided into six stanzas and each stanza consists of six, seven, and eight lines. There is no presence of a perfect rhyming pattern.
Fist comes Exaggeration, that means to expand the though in a broader way like,
“And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea—”
Then comes Enjambment, that means the continuation of thought even to the next stanza, just like,
” Than to love and be loved by me.
I was a child and she was a child,”
In this poem, Poe has used various imageries like,
“wind blew out of a cloud, chilling”
It is imagery because the narrator is explaining an image to the readers.
Symbolic tones are added in the poem like,
“Angel” is a symbol of peace and love, “sepulchre” is a symbol of death that takes her away from the poet.
Anaphora is another relevant poetic device that means the repetition of the same words at the beginning of two lines one after another. Here is the example,
” In her sepulchre there by the sea—
In her tomb by the sounding sea.”
Questions and Answers
How did Annabel Lee die?
Edgar Allan Poe says she gets dried by the winds of clouds.
What is the message in Annabel Lee?
The sorrow of losing love is the message that comes from the poet.
Is Annabel Lee a real person?
No, she is an imaginary character.