Compare & Contrast: Poe's “Annabel Lee” and Yeats’ “Cloths of Heaven”

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Compare & Contrast: Poe’s “Annabel Lee” and Yeats’ “Cloths of Heaven” As two of the greatest classical poets in the history of literature, William Butler Yeats and Edgar Allen Poe constantly vie for my favored attentions. Their poems, such as “Annabel Lee” and “Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” (now more commonly known as “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven”), have set the tone for some of the greatest romantic poetry of our time. Both were made into songs which I have had the utmost privilege in learning and performing in choir. They also both speak of a profound, uncorrupted, and unfathomable love in which both of the narrators use details, and lack thereof, to paint their words into pictures in our minds. They share this unreserved and unrestrained ideal that love can overcome and abound through any obstacle, in this case death and poverty. In this case, however, I prefer Annabel Lee where love is found, lost, yet still resounds. William Butler Yeats’ poem “He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” was written in 1899 and is about a man who compares the essence of the heavens with the makings of his love for a woman. While the genders of the narrator and the love are not specifically detailed, the poem was written with Yeats’ character Aedh in mind as the narrator. He suggests that the heavens (everything above, not the biblical sense of the word) were carefully crafted and that he yearns to be able to give her this absolute and beautiful cloth. He also shows the differing appearance of this “cloth” throughout the day when he states, “Of night and light and the half-light”. This could loosely be perceived that he is meaning that not only does he want to give her the heavens, but every sense of those heavens, throughout eternity. In the poem he states, “But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” He wishes he had the heavens to lie under her feet, but he is poor and can only...
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