Edgar Allan Poe
1. Poe is the most
Romantic of all American
authors. He affected a
Byronic persona as
an author, and his poetry and prose incorporate nearly every possible element of
Romanticism. What are some
Romantic features or themes in
the poem below? Consider Romantic
rhetoric, the gothic, and more.
2. What characteristics of Poe's personal style? How can you tell this is a
poem by Edgar Allan Poe?
3. Compare this poem's form as "free
verse" or "formal
verse" with poems by Dickinson and Whitman (and
other poems by Poe).
by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49)
[1.1] It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden lived whom you may know
By the name of
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
was a child and I was a child,
[2.2] In this kingdom by
But we loved with a love that was more than love
I and my Annabel Lee
With a love that the wingιd seraphs of Heaven
[seraphs = celestial beings, angels]
Coveted her and me.
[coveted = desired to possess]
And this was the reason that, long ago,
[3.2] In this kingdom
by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up, in a sepulchre
[sepulchre = tomb]
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
[4.2] Went envying her
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud, chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
those who were older than we
Of many far wiser than we
And neither the angels in Heaven above
demons down under the sea
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
[dissever = separate, disunite]
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
[6.6] And so, all the
night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my
In her sepulchre there by the sea
In her tomb by the side of the sea.