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Top 100 Poems of all Time -- "Anabel Lee" by Edgar Allen Poe

Continuing our quest to raise awareness about the incredible art of poetry, we've decided to post another in our "Top 100" series of poems.  This one comes from the great Edgar Allen Poe - a literary icon and controversial character for the ages.

So much of the poetry and prose of Edgar Allen Poe is mournful and bleak - and I think his talent (and the resulting lure) lies in his ability to mirror his own dark personality.  "The Raven" and "Alone" and "A Dream Within a Dream" come to mind immediately.  I wonder - what might he have produced if he was occasionally happy? 

Anyway, the poem is not overly sophisticated, not a lot of metaphor, but Poe does succeed in producing the mournful spirit in the reader which he strove to achieve, I assume.  The poem consists of six stanzas, varying the rhyme patterns in each one. Poe referred to Annabel Lee as a ballad, though technically it really isn't (here we go; who's to say? - that's what bugs me about poetry critics) - but who cares and who knows what he was singing when he wrote it. The poem uses repetition of words and phrases purposely to create its mournful effect, often the case with a ballad!

Here is a photo of his original manuscript of the poem, hand written:

"Annabel Lee" was Edgar Allen Poe's last completed poem before his famous (and mysterious) death.  Enjoy it.  Perhaps he ended up with her and is still with her today.

Annabel Lee

by Edgar Allen 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 the sepulchre there by the sea,
In her tomb by the sounding sea.

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