Edgar Allen Poe
27 February 2012
Edgar Allen Poe:
The Poem of “Annabel Lee”
In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Annabel Lee” a young man falls in love with a very young lady. The man Edgar writes his poem on his lovely wife Virginia Clemm, whom he married when she was only 13 years old. Their marriage was a very happy one. Unfortunately, she died of tuberculosis in Jan 1847 when she was still in her twenties. Poe died two years and nine months later on October 7, 1849. “Annabel Lee” was his last poem. Edgar Allan Poe started in his essay “The Philosophy of Composition” that the most melancholy of topics is death is most poetic when it most closely allies itself to beauty. Annabel Lee, likely the next to last poem he wrote before his own death, is one of several of Poe’s poems on the death of a beautiful women as spoken from the perspective of her bereaved lover.
The poem also reflects Poe’s attention to the aural effects of poetry, represented in Annabel Lee by the rhyming pattern. Annabel Lee was written in 1849 and was published the same year, just two days after Poe’s death. The poem appeared in two newspapers, The and The, and then in the 1850 edition of the poem has become one of Poe’s most popular works. Using a melodious narrative form, the speaker laments the death, many years ago, of his beloved young bride Annabel Lee. His loss moves him to state that envious angels caused the girl’s death to “dissever” which means separate the young married couple.
Whoever reads Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry for the first time should keep in mind that this American Romantic poet always drew a clear distraction between beauty and truth. The world of fable is an entity completely different from the world of fact or quotidian existence. Annabel Lee is about a beautiful, painful memory. The speaker of the poem is remembering his long lost love, Annabel Lee. The speaker knew Annabel Lee many years ago, when she was a girl,...