Study Guide

Annabel Lee

by Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee Summary

Extended Summary

"Annabel Lee" was the last poem that Poe composed, and was first published in November, 1849, in The Southern Literary Messenger, a month or so after his death. It is comprised of six stanzas, three of which have six lines and three of which have eight lines, with the rhyme pattern differing slightly in each one.

The poem is related by a first-person voice who was actively involved in the events which he now recounts. Akin to a fairy story, the narrator transports us to a kingdom by the sea that existed in the remote past, when both he and his beloved Annabel Lee were just children. Despite their youth, their love for each other was unsurpassed, so strong that even angels in heaven "coveted" it.

Because of their jealousy, a cold wind chills Annabel Lee in the third stanza. She dies and her body is carried away to the grave by "high-born kinsmen." Even though they have been separated by death, the angels continue to envy the love that remains between the narrator and his child bride.

Indeed, as the narrator proclaims in the penultimate fifth stanza, nothing can ever sever the bonds that join him to his love. He is always reminded of her beauty by the sight of the moon and the stars, dreaming of her every night as she lays "in her tomb by the side of the sea."

Annabel Lee Summary and Analysis

Summary and Analysis: Lines 1-20

Lines 1-2:
Poe introduces the setting of "Annabel Lee" in these lines. Though vague, his use of "many and many a year...

(The entire section is 595 words.)

Summary and Analysis: Lines 21-41

Lines 21-26:
This stanza repeats the speaker's belief that the envious angels caused Annabel Lee's death by blowing a...

(The entire section is 578 words.)