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 Edgar Allan Poe's poem Annabel Lee

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 [email protected] 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.

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