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.
She was a child and I 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 by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born 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 a cloud, 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 see 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 side of the sea.

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

58 Comments

  1. mike hunt says:

    i thank this poem was terrible and way to long and borin 🙂

  2. Nancy says:

    I have just read this poem for the first time, and I am in a comp 2 class in college. I have always been told that Poe was a dark angry man that only wrote about negatives, and while this poem is in a way about death, I feel the main point in the poem is the love that they share. Because their love is still there after she is gone. Brilliant poem!

  3. Elisa A. Menor says:

    I vividly remember that day in 1969 when I delivered Annabel Lee, the poem,in my first year high school English class. I was a student then. Now, I have secured a copy of it for my Englsih class again but this time, I am already an English professor.

    I thank God for writers like Edgar Allan Poe. May we have more writers as brilliant as him. His style, passion and choices of words surely add colors and interest in English poetry.

  4. Cayla says:

    Sorry – I commented on this poem and thought the lengthy comment was from Genrthy, but it was actually from Stevan Fallon Dunn.

  5. Cayla says:

    Thank you for talking about the Virginia-Annabelle Lee-Lenore connection. When I read “The Raven” in school, I couldn’t help but assume Lenore was based upon Poe’s wife/cousin, Virginia Clemms, and likewise, that Annabel Lee was also based upon Virginia. I was taught in school, both when reading “Annabel Lee” and “the Raven,” that the female characters in both stories were written with Virginia in mind. I hold true to that statement. I don’t know who wouldn’t think Poe would write about Virginia after her death, so it only makes sense he created female characters based on her; from what I understand, for the most part such female characters die, as the actual Virginia did. I don’t see how Virginia could be unrelated to Lenore and Annabel Lee.

  6. Gerthy says:

    I don’t know how many times i have read this poem. It is sad but i like it because it is romantic. Sometimes, it makes me cry. I like the rhythm. It is a good poem.

  7. Stevan Fallon Dunn says:

    Cross reference: The Raven; Lenore. your poetry site posted comments.

    Evidence promotes Edgar’s belief that Heaven makes mistakes…or more so, Makes Serious Decisions regarding the Love and Loves of the Universe. (One Verse…Lyric…one Lyric…one Verse of Poetry or Song…Unity gain is Xero…’One’ or ‘Uni’ is the infinite wisdom of Zero/Unity…The Rings of Wedding are Unity… two bands shared as One Unity…zero divided by zero in actuality equals One…The only value that can be divided by zero is zero….and equals One…Unity. This song remains the same, and is the Universe. Also, binary zero plus zero can gate to equal one. Uni…; Verse…the truth of the Verse of the Uni-Verse is what we all seek. But first we must learn to hum the tune, before we can learn the verse. Gettin’ in tune.).

    Biblically, Heaven’s will cannot be greater, and us mere mortals are marionettes (was it Frank Zappa who asked ‘do you feel like a puppet?’) to the play and the powers Heaven wields. Moses made a few notes on the subject, made some complaints to the Almighty Consulate…and received ten or more answers (more than ten commandments exist, we are given the top ten, like Dave’s Top Ten List).

    If you first read my comments on The Raven and Lenore….this may make a bit more sense.

    Lenore is Edgar’s Annabel Lee, but the Pseudo-Personna Lenore is an Earthly Annabel…and Annabel is the Heavenly Personna of Lenore…..and NO, Virgina Clemm is not Lenore or Annabel. Virgina replaces Lenore in 1831, about the time Lenore is written. Yes, Poe knew Virgina as a child, but not when he was a child…at least if we are to take the age differece literally…and a connection can only be made to Virgina and Edgar both knowing each other as children if we poetically allow Poe to maintain his inner-child throughout his adult life…not an impossibility as evidenced by his work, but other evidence tends to reject this notion, the notion of binding Virgina and Annabel/Lenore to Edgar’s Conundrum. Virgina is a replacement for Lenore, The one deemed by higher authority, Edgar should wed. A young Lady for Edgar. “The sweet Lenore hath “gone before” (Edgar) with Hope, that flew beside, (the hope of Edgar’s return to her soul Sepulchre, a hope that flew beside) Leaving thee wild for the dear child (Virgina) that should have been thy bride. ( a dualality, a poetic enharmonic enigma…Lenore should have been his bride, yet Ancient authority deemed the dear child Virgina be his choosen. Adamant thought leaning toward an unrelentless Love between Poe and Virgina, is dashed when knowledge of Poe’s engagement, (post death of Virgina) to Mrs. Shelton, a friend of Poe’s youth, enters the puzzle. Is Mrs. Shelton an awkward clue to this enigma?)

    Poe inherently knew…vague, mysterious continuing theme remains interesting. Do not give any direct answers, provide puzzling information, develop controversy…and the audience must rely on ingenuity and conjecture, arguement, and associated schools of thought, in order to piece together a Uni (one) Versal (Verse) Theme. Poe’s work is one (Uni) continuing work. He may have picked this up from Biblical Foundation. The Torah and The New Testament, as evidenced, leads to Conjecture, Arguement, and Associated Schools of Thought…and human ingenuity (and curiosity) seeks to answer the Heavenly Conundrum, presented over a period lasting at least 5000 years. Yet, we all know the answer is right in front of our noses. And that is why we can’t see it…because we can’t see our noses clearly, except in reflection.

    Okeedokee. If we are to imagine the space-time-contiuum as the waters of space and time, and Heaven as the Kingdom by the Sea,,,,(The Kingdom by the Waters of the Continuum). And that ‘This Sir’, is quite beyond the normal being, either in the 1800’s, or even today. Perhaps Poe was born into this world with a Damnnation…more so, both he and his Annabel Lee. Imagine Edgar and Annabel as young Heavenly Cherubs, in the Kingdom by the Seas of Heaven. They were young angels, Cherubs, and they were of one mind and one soul. …But the Love was more than Love, more than the Love Heaven deemed as the Love to have and to hold. The wing Seraphs (Seraphim) are the more aged angels of Heaven (if age is such a real thing in Heaven) not, not necessarily the more loving. Covet: desire enviously…the Seraphs are envious of the inseparable ‘thought of love’ Annabel has for Edgar’s Heavenly counterpart. You are not allowed to love one more than another in Heaven, It is Uni-Verse…One song, One Poem, One Love…….and to Love one above all others, leads to punishment…being damned to the Earthly World. Annabel was Chilled of Heavenly Life,(She of the Lee, could only be Chilled by Wind from a cloud at night) and her High-Born kinsmen….The Seraphim and Archangels, bore her soul from Heavenly Realm, and shut her soul up in a Sepulchre by the Sea of Space and Time, the edge of Heaven. Annabel was punished to Earth, and her soul remained in the tomb, her tomb by the sea. Edgar remained for a time, on the Beach…by the Sepulchre (Protecting the Soul of Annabel Lee), and the Angels of Heaven continued the envy….but Edgar’s Heavenly personna was not cast out, because It was Annabel who broke the Heavenly Law…Love no one more than another….equality, Unity, One Love. Uni. …Again.

    The Older, Wiser, Angels…could not, could not control or wield power over the Love remaining, ‘stronger by far than the love of those who were older than we’…….Edgar recipricated this ‘above the law’ Love to Annabel’s Soul, as she Lay intombed in Sepulchral Heavenly Sentence. …Edgar’s Heavenly personna received his calling to earth, received the damnnation he so sorely desired…a damning that was the only way possible to search and find his only Love, Annabel Lee; now an earthly being.
    [As it is a reciprocity, the farther into the future you leave Heaven, designates the further back in time you arrive Earth bound. So Edgar arrives earthly/older than Annabel.(That explains why the Ancients are so much more in tune with the Univesal Law, and Heaven…they were from much further into the future…hence they arrived much further back in Earth history. The mightiest of the Mighty….is known as the Ancient of Days. This because this being is from so far into the future; ‘This Essential’ is The Most Ancient of Days)],,,,….The continuum is hard to explain. The edge of our known Universe, is less than the total universal concept, and lies greater than 42 billon light years distant, into the future of Earth’s present time. It is from beyond this realm of Future Time that The Ancient of Days rules this Universe. What happens Earth Present, existed to the edge of the Universal Foundation, More than 42 Billion Years ago….this because the Edge Life of the Universe is Omni-Present. The Universl Foundation already experienced ‘This Time’ 42 billion years ago, so our present is history to the ancient realm, so The Ancient of Days is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent because of historical total recall of all things within the realm of Space-Time, and gets to call the shots. That Omni-Present Future/and Earth Present Time is right now for The Almighty Consulate, yet Their present, we will not experience for beyond 42 billon light years….a time that exists a few moments before oblivion. Maybe. Perhaps the Universe is beyond infinity, or ……..well, back to Edgar and Annabel.

    Edgar maintained his Earthly Consciousness of Annabel, by Grace. Lenore, for earthbound Edgar, was His Annabel of the Lee, of the Heavenly Realm. Whether Lenore and He parted ways through death or just through Poetic death, is a mystery (most likely truely through death, as evidenced by the Poem, the ‘note’). Tend to think her real earthly existence was as a secreted Woman, to be protected from public knowledge, protected from the damnations of Heaven….yet, taken away from him, again, in this worldly life. ‘The Raven’ brings Poe to grips with the loss of Lenore, something He carried through the Marriage with Virgina Clemm…and if Lenore be His Annabel of Heaven, she will visit him ‘Nevermore,’ and he will need to face the demon of his soul ‘Nevermore’. Where his soul lies, he dreams, as if he is by Annabel’s Sepulchre….yet, we can tell that the Uni-Theme of Poe’s writing….Delivers….Poe’s soul is below the Seas of the Kingdom by the Sea of Time, below the Realm of Heaven. His soul is not Laying by His Annabel’s tomb, but in his mental Earthly Dream, (he tells us with the poem ‘Annabel Lee,’ before his life of damnnation, as a resident of our world, ends), He has been with her for all time, because “…neither the the angels in Heaven above, Nor the Demons down under the sea (of Heaven), Can ever dissever my soul from the soul Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:–
    For the moon (as he lives on this earth) never beams without bringing me dreams Of the beautiful Annabel Lee; And so, All the Night tide (as his Soul arrives back to The Kingdom by the Sea, arrives back from the below depths of the Realm of Heaven, arrives with the tide, as he washes up on the beach of Heaven, a survivor of the damnation of his earthly punishment, torrment, and his souls damnation below the waters of the Heavenly realm), I lie down by the side Of my darling, my darling, MY LIFE and MY Bride, In her sepulchre by the sea–In (the tomb of her soul) her tomb by the side of the sea.”

    …and there he waited, until the soul of Annabel of the Lee was freed by the Almighy of Days…because The Love of The Celebrated Poe, was greater than the Love of The Saraphim, surviving damnation, and can never disever be taken from Poe’s Poetic Poetry, because his only goal of this Earth was not Monetary, But the Love of Annabel Lee. …and as we all know, it is harder for a rich man to enter Heaven, Then a poor poet to be given his eternal Love.

    So is Lenore Poe’s Annabel? He thought so, but thought ‘Nevermore.’ He did discover who she is, and acknowledged this to her by writing, perhaps, the eternal poem, ‘Annabel Lee.’ Whether she be Lenore, Virgina, or another of this Life….we probably will not know. “…-lest her soul, amid its hallowed mirth, Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damned earth.” …and arrive before his note, ‘Annabel Lee.’

    Left my Heart in Memphis, Left my Heart in Pain. She didn’t me leave no address, She didn’t leave me no last name. Wish I were in Memphis, whenever I’m in a mellow kind of rain.

    It is a New World, and we can do anything we want…as long as we don’t taunt the continuity
    …and in this New World, we drink Sheridan’s …and toast the Living.

    Life is an opportunity.

  8. Elise says:

    I just learnt this poem last week and now i gotta write an essay on it. i sooooooo love it! its all about love,how romantic. one great thing i simply adore about it is the rhythm. theres a rhythm and rhyme that goes on flowing…doesnt it sound like the waves where the kingdom by the sea is?

  9. lydia says:

    this peom is a loving peom this is one of the peom that i love from edgar allan peo

  10. Bridget says:

    My dad used to recite this poem from memory when I was little I am in my fifties now and my dad is 79 and still remembers this poem word for word.
    Chilling as it may be, I love this poem and had it framed for him last year for fathers day.

  11. GABi says:

    the first time i read this poem i fell in love with it. it talks about a mans love for a women but she is killed by taberculosis

  12. Nicole says:

    This poem is a sad one. I think it is utterly romanctic, but sad how his girl is ripped from his arms…in the kingdom by the sea..i am 14 and i love poetry, and we studied this in class. Email me at nitanick@aol.com to talk about peoms

  13. Annabelle says:

    This is the most touching poem i have ever read. This poem is so true when dealing with your true love, because the angels above and the demons below were jealous because of how strong their love was for each other. Since no one could separate their souls, they were always linked together, even though annabel, or virginia, died from being “chilled” by the wind, which means they most likely died from pneumonia. This poem is the most incredible poem i have ever read, especially those on love. I love this poem. Thank you, Edgar Allan Poe, for writing such a magnificent poem. Oh, if anyone knows what the onomatopoeia is and simile is in this poem, can they please tell me. thank you soooooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Bridget says:

    Edgar Allen Poe is genious! I love this poem so much. Sometimes it makes me cry!:(

  15. Geneva says:

    I don’t know how many times I’ve read this poem. But ever single time I read it, it means something different to me. This poem is so meaningful to me.

  16. Danielle says:

    It’s a wonderful poem and it made me feel like crying it has so much meaning….

  17. maria says:

    i think its sad

  18. asrar says:

    i read this poem and iprepar for presentation on it .i have many ideas about it but i hope you will not mind if you show your idea about it.

  19. Lori says:

    HE is a great great poet i love his work it is creepy but it has a thing of passion ,love, and mortality that realy jumps a me. i may not have read all his work but what i have read it seems to me he was a strange but fully understanding of the mortal limits of the soul or windows of the soul maybe.He saw all sides it seems of people palces and things in his work. I wonder if that is how he looked at life?

  20. Lena says:

    I think this is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read. It’s so sad and so tragic that his wife died but he still loves her and dreams about her. We read this poem for English and I’ve loved it ever since.

  21. Marie says:

    I like his poems they are very creepy and I like that..I especially like the Pit and the Pendulum..I watched the movie in school.But for a guy whos mom was Beautiful and drop dead gorgous he is ugly. He died 2 days before my birthday haha!

  22. annabel says:

    hey guess what

    my name is annabel lee

    isn’t that cool?

    haha.

    no joke.

  23. sharon says:

    When my teacher took this poem for us to study, i started to feel that this peom is so meaningful. A man is love a girl name Annabel Lee, but now she was away from him. Even she was away from him, his love with her never disappeared from his feeling.

  24. Chan says:

    I had this poem for my writting final essay.
    Even though it was my first time looking at it,
    I liked the way he expressed his feelings
    and how he showed his enduring love toward his
    young wife.

  25. Kristin says:

    this is a poem written with integrity. it shows true love between edgar allan poe and his love.

  26. Linh says:

    This is a beautiful and heartwarming peom that will continue to reach out and touch people no matter what the age. It’s truly a masterpiece.

  27. liz says:

    this poem has been eating my 3 years.

  28. Michelle millington says:

    This poem is a leasson for all the people that feels that love can be the reason for living and that no matter if the person in death or not that the real love from the soul never forget the other persn. It was beatuful and more to see that the thru love exist.

  29. Michelle Millington says:

    This poem is a leasson for all the people that feels that love can be the reason for living and that no matter if the person in death or not that the real love from the soul never forget the other persn.
    It was beatuful and more to see that the thru love exist.

  30. Heather says:

    This poem is about warped love. It is overly emotional and dramatic as Romeo and Juliet. It is perverse and the speaker is completely irrational. Yes, it is a beautiful thought to still be loved after you die but this guy is sick. If someone you knew was sleeping on his dead wife’s grave everynight you would think how morbid and unhealthy. The guy is going mad and he doing to himself. He thinks by staying near her death does not matter. And he blames the angels for being jealous. Totally irrational and a serious perversion that lies in his heart. If this love to you than you have never been in love just obsessed.

  31. Emerald says:

    everytime i read this poem, my heart melts and reaches out wanting to grasp the everlasting love that permiates from poe’s words. the rhym sceme is so simple yet so powerful! the love he had for annabel was so strong that poe said the angels envied their love. i wonder if ill ever hav a love like that.

  32. camila says:

    This poem is an inspiration for all of those you believe in endless love. It is beatiful. O love it’s simplicity and at the same time it’s deepness.

  33. Milly says:

    My english teachers favorite poem is this, and I love it too. It gives great depth to the meaning of love, and the ryhmeing is sensational. I aspire to be a poet, and Edgar Allan Poe’s poem has definately inspired me to write great works, and I have a poem that actually is based on his. My teacher actually wrote it in to be published because she loved it, but I just love this poem so much, and if anyone has a poem I would LOVE to read it!

  34. Jolo says:

    i have read this poem once and since that, i decided to memorize it by heart. love can never be understood. moreover true love. but Poe, being the poetic genius that he is, came close to heavenly describing what an eternal love is.

  35. Melissa says:

    This is my favorite poem of all time. Poe was a brilliant man.

  36. Melissa says:

    I found an interpretation of this poem and found it to be very interesting, true or not, I don’t know, but none the less I like it. I definitly see the references and since I live in Charleston, and have been to this cemetery before, I may have to go back now to see if I can find anything. Anyways check out the link below (I hope it works).

    http://www.ghostsource.com/location.html

  37. Eder says:

    I read this poem in my English class.I just want to know how can a man love his wife so deeply!My friends mother died after her father died,for their true love!I really can’t understand .In my opinion lovers should live in a more happy life after the other dies……You can miss him/her,but never forfet the people around you and love you!

  38. Mena says:

    Poe is a poetic genius, this poem truly defines love and it’s toll on a soul.

  39. sunny says:

    Poe showed his timeless love by comparing with the angels, even the winged seraphs envied their love .
    How deeply their love was!I really appreciate it .

  40. Sabrina says:

    Annabel lee is a great poem to tell your girlfriend who is trying to break up with you becuase it tell her that even thourgh she died you will never love another and visit her every day where she died

  41. Aurora says:

    This poem was written by Edgar Allen Poe and what a great poem it is! It’s a romantic, loving, mournful love poem. I love it, and its very sentimental to what critics believe was his 16 year old lover he wished to marry, but died before the could. I love this poem and encourage others ages young and old to read it!

  42. Diah says:

    I got a recomendation from one of my chat friends, and amazed by the rhyme, Sugoi!!!(^_^). Thanks Ernest;)

  43. None of your business says:

    After reading all your theories I would like to add my own thoughts about this poem.

    Most of Poes work is about death, agony and sorrow. but he transforms death into something beautiful, something magical, death get’s romantizised. But then again, he lived under the horrorromance era (ca 1800~1840). “Annabel lee” is surely about his cousin, it came out two years after her death, and the same year that poe died (1849). You can see lots of resemblences to his other poems, “the raven” and “Lenore” for example, both of them are also centered around a beloved, beautiful woman that have died. He’s a true genius, that’s for sure.

  44. edgar says:

    I will never get tired of reading this poem over and over.if he hadnt wrote this i never wouldve known what love is. this is my favorite love poem its untouchable!
    its dark and it is beautiful. im glad i have the same name as Mr. Poe!i dont cry when i read but this is the the poem that got the closest thanks Mr. Poe for writing such a perfect example of what love is!!

  45. Shelby says:

    Im doing a poetry portfolio now and im sry but i really didnt enjoy this poem i mean his own cousin so we have to do this and im lookin for alliteration plus this was in our literature book

  46. Jacquelyn says:

    I have read everyone’s thoughts on this poem and I am quite puzzled because my thoughts are so different. When I read this poem, immediately I thought of a stalker. The love that the narrator speaks of is not love at all but obesession. I personally would be afraid of someone professing to love me in the manner that the narrator describes his love for Annabel Lee. Some women think that a little jealousy is cute, but these are the women that find themselves in abusive relationships. Now maybe I am way off the marker on this one, but this is what this poem means to me.

  47. Andrea says:

    This a poem about a two lovers that were torn apart, by death.’Annabel Lee’talks about Poe’s never ending love that he had for her.Even though she was no longer there he loved her probably till the day he himself died.This poem shows the true meaning of the word love which we use so lightly today.-Andrea 13yrs old

  48. Kathryn says:

    Whom ever typed this poem, made a mistake. In Edgar Allan Poe’s original version of this masterpeice, instead of “And the stars never rise, but I see the bright eyes” he wrote, “And the stars never rise, but I FEEL the bright eyes”. Other than this flaw, I believe that this website is perfect with the other peoms of his.

  49. Kim Davis says:

    I just love this poem. Even if it is about death, I feel that it is more about love. Just because someone is gone does not mean the love is not there. I also think it was for Virginia. You can tell that he really cared and loved her. This poem always makes me feel good when I read it.

  50. alicia says:

    i think this is one of the best poems he ever wrote. it’s by far my favoret

  51. Chris says:

    Undoubtedly a poem about loss of a love,probably poe’s cousin wife Virginia,moves me to tears whenever I read it

  52. tina says:

    this is a great poem! i love to read it because it is so insperational and it is on of my favorites ! every one should read it and it is a tear jerker i love reading it!

  53. Dennisa Montes says:

    I was assigned to write an essay paper in my English class on one of the many poets that we’ve learned about. First of all I was never attracted to learn about any poet authors. But when I the my english teacher first talked about him I was amazed about his life and his poems. And the poem that really catched my attention and went deep me was “Annabel Lee”.I just love the way he exppresses himself with all that love for Annabel Lee. I can tell he really loved her. I got very sentimental when I read this poem because is sad to loose the “love of your life” I would never want to be in his shoes.

  54. Shannon says:

    This poem had such a great impact on me that I named my child Anabelle Lee ( I changed the spelling) it is bittersweet, as was much of poe’s work and life.

  55. Tamara says:

    This poem was beautiful, one has to be hit in some kind of way to feel the effestc of such a dynamite poem.

  56. Elizabeth says:

    This poem is one of my favorites. It is so beautiful and almost made me cry.

  57. cecille says:

    i learned this poem when im still in 2nd yr high schooll im now 42 yrs old but i still remember the wordings of this poem because it s really beautiful and meaningful. I really love it!

  58. Kara says:

    i had to learn this poem in 7th grade and i will always remember it because it always brought tears to my eyes.

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