“Annabel Lee” and why I love it

Annabel Lee by 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 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.

You can find the poem at The Poetry Foundation

I love Edgar Allan Poe. I stumbled upon this poem in a Valentine’s Day edition of my high schools literary magazine. Maybe it was the hot pink pages and the red cover. Maybe it was the fact that I seemed to have found the only copy. I don’t know for sure, but I carried that magazine around for days. A couple years later when I found a mini edition of Poe’s poetry I did the same thing with that.

“Annabel Lee” always struck me as really intense. Here was this tragic love story and not only was it told in a poem, it was told in rhyme! This was the second poem I memorized. Whenever I find myself with a copy of Poe’s work nearby I look for this one and re-read to make sure I still remember it all.