Thepoet of the poem ‘Annabel Lee’ was an American named Edgar Poe.He is accredited to having written a lot of poems and stories thatwere mostly fictional and with heavy gothic influences. It is arguedthat the tragic life of Allen Poe had a very significant influence inthe way he did his writing. It is evident that the poet had suffereda lot of mis-fortunes and life tragedies throughout the better partof his life (Beidler 254).
Thereseems to be a connection between Poe’s work and the calamities thathe experienced in his personal life considering he was almost alwaysin serious debt. In addition, death seemed to trail him likefootprints this is because he lost his wife and two years laterdied. From these tragedies in his life, people can find inspirationevidenced in some of his popular works like ‘The raven’, ‘TheTell tale heart’, and finally ‘Annabel Lee’ which was the lastof his works (Beidler 257). It is worth noting that the poem ‘AnnabelLee’ was published after the death of Poe and he had already soldthe rights attached to it when he was still alive. Annabel Lee isconsidered to be a poem written for his wife who had died two yearsearlier, prior to his death (Hayes 482).
‘AnnabelLee’ is a poem designed as a ballad or rather a narrative poemevident in its stanza form as well as language. The use of repeatedkey words within the lines offers the poem a very impressive sound.The repetition in the poem also acts as a way of emphasizing andstressing the key ideas. The language used resembles that used infairy tales for instance, “It was many and many a year ago, in akingdom by the sea”. The poem by Poe has six stanzas and has arange of six to eight lines and is written in first person.
Thepoet has used rhyme and repetition to achieve the effects of euphonyand unity or rather an enticing musicality. The repetition of endrhymes in the poem form a link as one shift from one stanza to thenext. For instance, the author uses words with an ‘e’ sound atthe end of every stanza to create the link.
Thecommon subjects that the poet in ‘Annabel Lee’ is addressing arelove and grief. The author makes serious and artistic use of imagery.The depiction of light and darkness in the poem is very significant.Whereas light is associated with happiness and cheer, darkness isused to indicate pain and grief. Poe points out that the kingdom bythe sea was full of cheer and some two young lovers were very happy.In contradiction, the second stanza paints a different picture byintroducing a different perspective to the young lovers. The authorimplies that the angels in heaven were jealous of the young couple.This is made clear in the lines “With a love that the wingedseraphs of heaven coveted her and me.” (Poe 18) From this point on,the mood of the poem changes as darkness slowly creeps in. As heproceeds, Poe paints a mental picture of his pain and grief, “Theangels, not half so happy in heaven went envying her and me”. Inthe same stanza, he relays about the death of his lover.
Thepoem “Annabel lee” has been written in first person and so thepoet is the narrator. The speaker in the early stanzas of the poemmeets his lover when they were young and they fall in love and latergot married. Whereas information about the young couple falling inlove is found in the second stanza, the evidence that the couplelater married is substantially in the last stanza where the authorrefers to his lover as “Of my darling –my darling – my life andmy bride”.
Thesetting where this happens is in a kingdom that is next to the sea.This is relayed in the first stanza. The author paints the picture ofhimself and his lover Annabel as a couple that is happily in love. Infact, he describes the intensity of their relationship by implyingthat even the angels in heaven envied them. He goes ahead to say theywere not so happy about it. As a result of their displeasure, Annabeldies.
Inaddition, the author suggests that he was not of the same socialclass as Annabel and, other than the angels, her kinsmen did notapprove of this relationship. This is found in the third stanza, “Sothat her highborn kinsmen came and bore her away from me”. Thepersona implies the older and the far wiser did not actuallyunderstand the intensity of their love. In spite of her death, he hadmaintained his commitment to her. In the last lines of the poem hesays he lay by her side every night “in her sepulcher by the sea”(Poe 18).
Beidler,Philip D. "Mythopoetic Justice: Democracy and the Death of EdgarAllan Poe."
MidwestQuarterly: A Journal of Contemporary Thought, 29.3(2005): 252-67.
Hayes,Kevin J. "Poe, The Daguerreotype, and the Autobiographical Act."Biography: An
InterdisciplinaryQuarterly,25.3 (2002): 477-92.
Poe,Edgar A. AnnabelLee: Poem.S.l.: HarperCollins Canada, 2014. Print.