Study Guide

Annabel Lee

By Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee Introduction

"Annabel Lee," the last major poem written by Edgar Allan Poe, was published immediately after his mysterious death in 1849. If you know a little bit about Poe, you might not be surprised to hear that "Annabel Lee" is spooky and sad, and that it deals with one of the author's favorite subjects, the death of a beautiful young woman.

It's always a little hard to separate the life of the legendary Poe from his works. In this case, there are some big similarities. Poe was also in love with a young woman, his cousin Virginia Clemm, and married her when she was just 13. She had died two years before this poem was written. Whether or not this poem is "autobiographical," we can be sure that Poe knew what he was talking about here. This intense and fascinating poem is one of Poe's most famous. Whether you're an old fan of Poe or brand new to his work, "Annabel Lee" is a really cool example of his unique style and subject matter.

What is Annabel Lee About and Why Should I Care?

You know how sometimes you become a fan of a band because you hear their first single and love it right away? Then you download the whole album, and even though you still like that song, you get pulled in by other tracks that you start to love just as much? We think of this poem as being one of those great songs you stumble on once you're already a fan of Poe. If you ask anyone to name a poem by Poe, they'll probably say "The Raven." Sure, that poem is probably Poe's "greatest hit." We certainly love it, and could read it again and again. But there's something special about "Annabel Lee." Where the Raven is spooky, Annabel Lee shows an even darker side of Poe. It's fun to read because it's so intense. Poe is so spine-tingling-ly good that it's worth reading as much of his stuff as you can get your hands on. Once you get hooked, you just can't stop.

Annabel Lee Resources

Websites

E.A. Poe Society
Packed with info about Poe, as well as copies of all his stories and poems.

Historical Documents

Poe's Obituary
Here's a copy of the obituary where "Annabel Lee" was first published. It's also a neat look at what someone who knew Poe thought of his work.

Video

Annabel Lee Slideshow
A reading of the poem paired with images and video.

Audio

Listen to "Annabel Lee"
A dramatic reading of Poe's poem.

Choral Version of "Annabel Lee"
The poem set to music and sung by a choir.

A "Rock" Version of "Annabel Lee"
We're not sure how hard this one rocks, but it's kind of cool to hear another musical version of this song. Also gives you a feel for how popular this poem still is.

Images

E.A. Poe Galleries
A whole bunch of Poe-related images. The ones of his grave are especially appropriate and spooky.

Virginia Clemm Poe
A famous image of Poe's child bride.