Annabel Lee Poem Analysis

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Edgar Allan Poe, one of America's greatest poets, was praised by his contemporary New York Beaumonde. But at the same time, Poe repeatedly fell victim to vicious enemies and enviers. Being an ardent and sincere man, he did not accept compromises when it came to literary matters, openly expressed his views, which, of course, not everyone liked. Poe worked in various genres, but above all he considered himself a poet, although he left a rather small legacy, just over five dozen poems. But, at the same time, he worked extremely carefully on his poetic works, constantly updating and editing them. The sublime love for a beautiful woman is stronger than death in his poem “Annabel Lee.”

About the Author

It is worth noting that there is a separate day of dark poetry. It was approved in 2018 on the 169th anniversary of the death of perhaps the most famous author of gloomy poetry Edgar Allan Poe. The Horror Writers Association (HWA) is proud to declare October 7, the day of the Master's death, the National Day of Dark Poetry. HWA Poetry Showcase founder Peter Adam Salomon says, "In gloomy poetry, we share the ancient knowledge that the darkest poetry sheds light on the greatest truth" (Salomon). Yet, even though Poe’s poetry is widely known for its dark motifs, his poems often contain some light coming through in the end.

All the poetic legacy of Edgar Allan Poe, concentrated in four collections: "Tamerlane and other poems" (1827), "Al Aaraaf, Tamerlane and other poems" (1829), "Poems" (1831), "Crow and other poems" (1845) . Edgar Allan Poe's principle of writing is emotional and psychological, he called such influence a "total effect" and this was his most important feature (Salomon). One of the most sensual and emotional examples of poetry work by Poe remains “Annabel Lee.”

Analysis of the Poem

Nature, art, and human relations are the material for the poetic imagination, which transforms reality into a poetic world. A typical example is Edgar Poe's concept of poetic love, according to which the poet, unlike mere mortals, loves not just a woman, but an ideal image projected on a living object as in Annabel Lee. This ideal image is the result of a creative process in which the qualities of a real woman are sublimated, their idealization and elevation (Poe). The poet creates an ideal, spending the wealth of his own soul, intuition, imagination.

Poe's limitations are a direct consequence of his attitude to the emotional and psychological effect and the principle of uncertainty in his poetics. In the works of the poet, as a rule, there are no spatial, temporal and other characteristics that give the content certainty, specificity. The poet's task was to stimulate the reader's imagination, but not to plunge into the element of uncontrolled freedom, that is, to "work" in a certain direction. Related to this is another quality of Edgar Allan Poe's poetry - its suggestiveness, which is achieved through mainly emotional connotations (Jackson). The poet himself called it "mystical meaning", although he has nothing to do with the traditional notion of mysticism.

The narrator tells of his love for Annabel Lee, which began in a kingdom by the sea. Despite the fact that they were still very young, their love for each other flared up with such force that they were envied by angels. This is how the narrator explains the death of his beloved, because their love continues after the death of the girl (Poe 7-12). The narrator is sure that their souls are connected forever, he thinks of her, imagines himself next to her.

Unlike “The Crow,” where the narrator does not believe that he will ever meet his beloved again, Annabel Lee's poem instills confidence that the two will be together, because "neither the angels of heaven above / nor the demons down under the sea can never dissever" the soul of the narrator and Annabel Lee (30-32). This strong belief of the protagonist is evident in a more linear rhythmic structure of the poem, which remains very similar throughout the piece. This clarity is, in fact, a small portion of light that brings a slight trace of positivity into a rather dark and tragic poem.


As for Annabelle Lee herself, she is young and seriously ill, and the poem itself tells of an unusually strong and perfect love. The narrator and Annabel Lee were still children when they fell in love, but the angels killed Annabel Lee out of envy. According to researchers, Poe's work indicates that the narrator himself has not grown up. This is the only, in his view, explanation of her death repeated several times and once again indicates the severity of the loss and the depth of his experiences.

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Works Cited

Jackson, Kim. "Edgar Allan Poe". Study.Com, 2021,

Poe, Edgar Allan. "Annabel Lee". Poetry Foundation, 2022,

Salomon, Adam. "Dark Poetry Emerges From The Shadows With National Day Of Recognition". Emory University, 2015,

May 13, 2022



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