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Annabel Lee

Edgar Allan Poe

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Annabel Lee
2002-03-20
Added by: Maurice Dang
I think this poem is exquisite, profound and heart-wrenching. Whenever I read the piece, I felt such a sense of sadness. Even more than 150 years or so after the poem was written.
POE COMMENT (1)
2002-05-08
Added by: Christopher
In this poem, there is a profundity of sadness that parallels a great many of Poe's works. The emphasis that others (supernaturals, i.e. angels in Heaven) are to blame is a common feeling in his works signifying true tragedy like that of much older poets or playwrights.
2002-07-31
Added by: Charles Behlen
I've lost track of how many times I've seen the last line of "Annabelle Lee" botched by editors and printers. The last line is: "In her tomb by the sounding sea."
2002-07-31
Added by: Charles Behlen
Correction: the title of Poe's poem is "Annabel Lee," not "Annabelle Lee." So much for my more-conscientious-than-thou attitude.
Last line?
2002-08-01
Added by: Jough (Editor)
Charles, I've never seen an instance of the last line being "sounding" rather than "the side of the" sea. I have four different editions here and they're all as printed here.

Do you have a source that I could CHECK out that has "sounding"? I like that better - although there's something wonderful about the "side of the sea" - it limits it, makes it less vast somehow.

Let me know.

-- Jough
2002-08-01
Added by: Charles Behlen
Jough, it looks as if the ending of "Annabel Lee" is not as cut and dried as I'd previously assumed. The first two manuscripts of the poem (called the "Griswald" and "Moore" manuscripts, respectively) date FROM one month after the poem's composition in May 1849 and use the word "sounding" in the last line. However, the first published text of the poem that I was able to view (Southern Literary Messenger, Nov. 1849) uses "side of the sea" instead of "the sounding sea." Nevertheless, "sounding" was reinstated when the poem was anthologized and published in a individual collection in 1850. I grew up on Poe's Tales and Poems, edited by Alphonso Newcomber (Scott, Foresman & Co., 1898) and the 1965 reprint of Random House's 1938 edition of the Complete Tales and Poems. Both use "sounding" in the last line. I hope a good Poe scholar will put this issue to rest if the variant isn't a matter of simple carelessness. Anyone interested in this matter should probably dip INTO the E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore website.
Hrm.
2002-08-01
Added by: Jough (Editor)
Now I'm curious as to which is "more correct."

I'll CHECK with the Edgar Allen Poe society here in Philadelphia and see what they have to say.

-- Jough
Check this out...
2002-11-05
Added by: Dana
This is a link to a site that has a copy of Poe's handwritten version of "Anabel Lee" circa May 1849. In the last line, he says "by the side of the sea."



http://www.columbia.edu/acis/textarchive/rare/76.html
Well, that settles it then.
2002-11-05
Added by: Jough (Editor)
Thank you for this link, Dana. It's a pleasure to see this poem in Poe's own hand (and with the "side of the sea" ending).

Cheers,

-- Jough

last stanza
2003-03-09
Added by: Jill
The last stanza suggests that the speaker's life is only complete and fulfilled if he is joined to Annabel Lee. His life only has meaning with her near to him. True love can never die. It is enduring like the sea. The love he has for Annabel will live eternally in his mind and heart; in this "kingdom by the sea".

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