by Edgar Allan Poe
Where It All Goes Down
The Creepiest Kingdom Ever
We get a real fantasy movie vibe from this poem. That kingdom by the sea can't just be a crummy beach town. It has to have a huge castle with amazing towers and big steel gates. Think The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia, when they have the first big dramatic shot of a castle.
The setting of this poem is almost hyper-real, all jagged edges and steep cliffs and pounding waves. The ocean is black and cold; the sky is filled with big boiling grey clouds. Annabel's tomb would have to be made of black marble, huge and cold, and perched right above the ocean, almost like it was about to fall in. And you know how the speaker talks about demons under the sea in line 31? We don't think that's just a metaphor. We think he can really see them. When he peeks his head over that cliff into the ocean, he can see demons writhing and slithering down below. When he looks up in the sky he can see angels flying above, big scary angels with flaming swords. Definitely not happy, harp-strumming angels.
This poem isn't about a happy dream. It's about a living nightmare, where death is everywhere and the world is dark and scary. Sorry about that, we wish it was happier, but we think Poe's world in "Annabel Lee" isn't a place where you'd want to spend much time.