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:Edgar Allan Poe:

Imagery Analysis

Annabel Lee
by Edgar Allan Poe (1849)


"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."

 

 

 

Imagery Analysis

            In this poem Edgar Allan Poe uses visual imagery as well as tactile imagery in order to describe the speaker’s undying love for a maiden. The use of imagery not only shows strength towards the speaker’s love but also allows the reader to feel this love and the pain of the maiden’s death.

            For instance, visual imagery such as “winged seraphs”, “the moon never beams”, “the starts never rise”, and “in her tomb by the side of the sea” are all used to portray jealousy as well as strengthen the love the speaker has for this maiden. If the “moon never beams without” bringing him drams, only shows the fact that his love was so powerful that he dreams of her every night. The speaker cannot seem to function without thinking of this woman and the jealousy that lead to her death only brings him disgust. Thus, he just wants to lie side by side “in her tomb by the side of the sea.”

            Finally, Poe also uses tactile imagery in order to portray the maiden’s death. The jealous “angels in heaven” made wind come out of a cloud at night “chilling and killing” Annabel Lee. Therefore, the reader of the poem can only conclude that she died because of the cold and are also able to experience such a feeling of cold.

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