Annabel Lee

Annabel Lee

Edgar Allan Poe

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 winged 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 kinsman 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.

Summary of  Annabel Lee

  • Popularity of “Annabel Lee”: This poem was written by Edgar Allan Poe, a famous American poet. It was first published in The Southern Literary Messenger in 1849. The poem deals with the subject of pure love that remains even after the person whom you love is gone. It also clarifies the role of nature that separates the speaker from his beloved. The popularity of the poem lies in the fact that it represents love in its most pure form.
  • “Annabel Lee” as a Representation of Love: The young speaker, very artistically, draws the picture of his eternal love. Many years ago, he lived happily in a kingdom with his beloved, Annabel Lee. They loved each other since childhood. And, their love for each other was so intense that even the angels in heaven became envious and killed Annabel Lee by sending cold winds. Though the speaker is devastated after the heart-wrenching demise of his beloved, he never stops loving her. Their two souls, being one, will always be united even when their bodies are apart. Every night, he sees her beautiful face in his dreams and sleeps near her tomb. However, what enchants the reader is the idea that true love resides in souls and it never dies.
  • Major Themes in “Annabel Lee”: Love and death are the major themes in the poem. The poem revolves around the intense love of the speaker. To him, love is the greatest force present in the universe and no power can destroy it; not even death. Although his beloved leaves the mortal world, he feels her presence all the time.

Analysis of Literary Devices in “Annabel Lee”

literary devices are techniques that the writers use to convey their ideas, feelings, and message to the readers. Poe has used various literary devices to enhance the intended impacts of his poem. Some of the major literary devices have been analyzed below.

  • Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line such as the sound of /a/ and /i/ in “It was many and many a year ago,” and “And this maiden she lived with no other thought”.
  • Imagery: Imagery is used to make readers perceive things with their five senses. Poe has used visual imagery to make the readers imagine a cold and desolate place where he lives with his beloved, In a kingdom by the sea” and “In her tomb by the sounding sea”.
  • Personification: Personification is to give human characteristics to inanimate objects. For example, “the wind came out of the cloud by night,/ Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee” as if the wind is a human and capable of killing another person.
  • Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as /l/ sound in “Than to love and be loved by me” and /w/, /th/ and /l/ sounds in “But we loved with a love that was more than love–”.
  • Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings that are different from the literal meanings. “The sea” is the symbol of evil and darkness, “moon” and “the stars” both symbolizes the speaker’s lover and her stunning beauty.
  • Allusions: Allusion is an indirect reference of a person, place, thing or idea of a historical, cultural, political or literary significance. Poe has used allusion in the tenth line, “seraphs in heaven”, which alludes to the Bible when it degrades the angels to the level of demons.
  • Enjambment: Enjambment refers to the continuation of a sentence without the pause beyond the end of a line, couplet or stanza such as: “And this maiden she lived with no other thought; Than to love and be loved by me”.

The appropriate use of these devices has made the poem deep and thought-provoking for the readers.

Analysis of Poetic Devices in “Annabel Lee”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  • Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are six stanzas in the poem with variable length and structure.
  • Rhyme Scheme: The rhyme scheme followed by the entire poem is ABABCB.
  • Internal Rhyme: The internal rhyme is rhyme within a line such, “For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams”. Two words “beams” and “dreams” rhyme with each other.
  • Repetition: The poetic, as well as the rhetorical device of repetition, emphasizes a point through repetition such as, “Of the beautiful Annabel Lee” and “In a kingdom by the sea,” which have been repeated in the poem several times.
  • Refrain: The words that are repeated at some distance in the poem are called refrain the phrases, “In a kingdom by the sea” and “Of the beautiful Annabel Lee” are repeated with the same words, these have become refrain as these phrases have been repeated in all stanzas of the poem.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below can be used when sharing a fantasy story to young children. These could also be used to describe a fantasy world.

“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.”