An Analysis of Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe

One of my favorite poems by far, two childlike lovers romanticizing love during a fateful time.

Annabel Lee

It was many and many a year ago,
   In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
   By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
   Than to love and be loved by me.
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;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
   In this kingdom by the sea.
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;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, 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,
   In her sepulchre there by the sea—
   In her tomb by the sounding sea.

Here are some notes that I thought were interesting/important/ironic:

  • The narrator tells it very much like a story, almost like a haunted fairytale.
  • Some rhyming like “love”, “above”/ “chilling,” “killing/ “beams” “dreams”/ “sea” “we” but instead of the end-of-line rhymes many were right in the middle of the sentence.
  • “Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee” : Basically our narrator is blaming angels for killing her.
  • The fairytale opening had suggested they were kids and even mentioning of those who were older than we–of those far wiser than we.
  • A lot of repetition
  • Meter is mostly iambic pentameter.
  • Hyperbole: can ever dissever my soul from the soul of the beautiful Annabel Lee. (LOVE THAT LINE!!)
  • I personally think he did a good job of using euphony because when you read it, it feels almost sing-songy.
  • A love of love + madness all over it
  • Metaphor: Stars are a metaphor for her eyes
  • hyperbole: no other thought than to love him.

 

YEAH it’s pretty random to just analyze a poem, but that’s what I do fellow readers. My life is random, so get used to it and come join the fun!

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