Annabel Lee (by E.A. Poe)

This has been my favorite poem since my 7th grade English teacher first read it to us. I had my eyes closed, so that I could imagine the story. If you are not familiar with it, you should try having it read to you as well. Here’s the loveliest rendition I’ve found. It’s too easy to intone the entire thing in a sing-song, emphasizing rhyme over meaning, but this recording avoids that pitfall beautifully.

During that initial reading, the first few lines made me roll my eyes. Childish. Then the poem took a rather dark turn and captured my attention. By the end, I was startled by its beauty. I think I gasped at the last lines. That’s love, I decided. That’s real love. Of course, I was 12 and I was wrong (that was limerence), but from then on, my notions of romance were never far from macabre.

Favorite lines:

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

Do you have any favorite poetry? Do tell!

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