Sunday Poetry: Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee

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 high-born 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 one 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.

– by Edgar Allan Poe

_______________________________________________

It’s glorious summer, and time for evenings outdoors, with a fire or just the moon to light the evening. And those evenings have been enhanced since the dawn of language by fantastical tales told in spooky voices to send shivers down your spine, and glances over your shoulder at the darkness.

Those campfires, years ago, were the birth of poetry. Stories set to rhyme are easier to remember, and the rhythm of language draws in the audience. A great story-teller can enthrall an audience with a strange tale set to verse, and the original poets were bards who wandered the country-side, entertaining and enthralling people gathered together around a hearth or a campfire.

Can you imagine having Edgar Allan Poe around your campfire, telling his macabre stories while the dark pressed in upon you?

“Annabel Lee” is a masterpiece of obsession. The repeated phrases and passionate tale lead you to a creepy image of the narrator lying alongside a tomb, yearning for his departed love.

Read this poem aloud. Roll along with the rhythms and rhymes, and practice it in a somber voice. You’ll have something to share on an evening outdoors – something that will stick in the minds of those who hear it. And you will be part of the tradition of bards, stretching back to campfires that have long been extinguished.

2 Responses to “Sunday Poetry: Annabel Lee, by Edgar Allan Poe”

  1. Spyder says:

    This morning at church Annabelle Pearl lastname? was baptized.

  2. MoxieMamaKC says:

    This is one of my favorites! Thanks for sharing…

Leave a Reply