Edgar’s Annabel Lee
Annabel Lee was the last completed poem written by Edgar Allan Poe in 1849. It wasn’t published until shortly after his death. Poe began to write this poem in the honor of falling in love with a beautiful woman many years ago. It is believed that the poem may have been written about his wife, Virginia. The theme being about a beautiful woman has been the theme of other poems he has written. Poe wrote the story, but it is not Poe telling it. The narrator tells the story. And Poe with his use of imagery, illusion, and irony, shows the loss of a beautiful woman, through the eyes and feelings of the man who loved and lost her. When the narrator begins to tell the story, it is a story from a long time ago, in the past. The poem, Annabel Lee, starts out with the narrator, talking about his past. Of how he met her as a child and as they grew, their love grew stronger, that they loved only each other and that nothing else mattered. Like mentioned in the thesis statement, one of the ways he shows his loss of a beautiful women, is through his use of imagery. Poe writes, “But we loved with a love that was more than love, I and my Annabel Lee.” Poe has the reader picture a stronger, more passionate love towards each other, the narrator and Annabel Lee. They loved each other like no other and no other love was stronger than theirs.
In his use of imagery, Poe having the narrator speak about the jealousy of the angels foreshadows what is to come and that is Annabel Lee’s death. He also demonstrates his loss through his use of illusion. Poe writes, “A wind blew out of a cloud chilling my beautiful Annabel Lee.” Poe has the reader imagine Annabel lee standing outside, when a sudden, harsh wind comes out of the clouds. She becomes so cold that she dies. He then goes on to write, “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 clouds by night, chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.” The narrator so devastated and angry; he had no other explanation to why she was to die so young, other than to blame the Angels of taking her away from him.
Last but not least, he uses irony to show his loss. Poe writes, “And neither the angels above, nor the demons down under the sea, can ever dissever my soul from the beautiful Annabel Lee.” Poe has the reader foresee that nothing, in Heaven or Hell, can come between him and Annabel Lee, and further proves that when writing “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 the sepulcher there by the sea, in her tomb by the sounding sea. In this final stanza, the narrator tells the reader even in death he loves and worships her and loves her and always will for she was his true love. In conclusion, Poe demonstrates the loss of a beautiful woman through imagery, illusion and irony all through the narrators’ words. I would recommend this poem to many people, mainly because it captures the main idea of what true love really is.