Annabel Lee (There’s a Ghost in my Post)

First of a new series of past posts revisited.

I came across this poem by Edgar Allan Poe, (1809 – 1849) the American mystery and horror writer. The poem is about Poe’s first love Annabel Lee and it is the last completed poem Poe ever wrote.

The subject, as well as being about lost love, is also about death. The poem was written in 1849 and published that same year – which coincidently was also the year the writer died.

Virginia Clemm Poe

The poem speaks of a love that can transcend death. No one really knows who the woman was, though some think that lady may have been his wife Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe.

If the poem seems a little familiar to you, that may be because it featured in the 1971 film Play misty for me which starred Clint Eastwood as the unwitting Radio DJ who got himself embroiled with one of his listeners who turned out to be a demented mad woman.  Annabel Lee was the woman’s favorite poem and it is quoted in the film.  Dangerous love.

One of Poe’s favorite themes was the death of a beautiful woman and this one fulfills the criteria. the poem is about an ideal love – a love that not even death can break. Here’s the poem in its entirety- Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan 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.’

Poem from Poemhunter with thanks More about this poem and its possible source here Play Misty image here Poe poster from here

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