Edgar Allan Poe the man behind the Poet
Edgar Allan Poe (the man behind the poet) got me excited about writing poems of my own as a young teen. The poem ‘Annabel Lee’ affected me greatly, being that I was a romantic idealist. What young poetry writer, isn’t?
I stayed up all night one weekend and wrote over fifty poems that are now way lost in time. But, I retired and began again. I have to say that I must have improved a bit. But, can’t remember anything I wrote way back then.
Mr. Poe wrote one particular poem named ‘Annabel Lee’ which moved me greatly. It was a real tear-jerker. It reminded me of the book ‘Love story’, in which I read and saw the movie. This particular poem also was essential in the plot of the Clint Eastwood movie ‘Play misty for me’, which I absolutely loved.
The movie (Love story) took right after the book, in which I was surprised because movies may certainly not follow a book’s plot to the letter. Don’t spread it around I had anything to do with ‘Love story’! It will be our secret?
Edgar’s parents were struggling actors. His father abandoned the family early on, then his mother died a year later. Not a very good way to start off in life. But, when Poe’s rich uncle died, he received an inheritance of a three quarters of a million dollars plus acreage. He built his two-story house in town.
Death of important women like his mother and wife likely influenced his poetry writing. There was a recurring theme of loss of ‘beautiful women’ like in his last recorded poem below.
He apparently was a lonely and troubled soul. Why else would one write poetry? Drinking and gambling got the best of him as he always seemed to be broke borrowing money from whomever would loan it.
In the end, my poor pained idol was found lying delirious in the street and was hospitalized dying four days later. To name a world-famous quote from the Raven by Poe ~ ‘Nevermore’.
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.
*Note- This poem is one of my all time favorites and still moves me, but if you are the copyright holder and object to me displaying it here on poetrymadness.com, email me and I will remove it, asap. As far as I know, this poem exists in the ‘public domain’.