Why did Poe title his poem Annabel Lee when it was about Virginia?

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Why was the poem about Poes wife called Annabel Lee when her name was Virginia?

-- Anonymous, February 21, 2002


Generally pe used names for their poetic quality only. IF coincidentally the name was in his style like his second "To Helen" directed to Miss Whitman then hemight use it. For Virginia he may have substituted Eulalie and Ulalume as well. His own nickname for Virginia was "Sissy" which did not fithis usual poetic aesthetics. This also puts some distance between the work of art and any real world connection so that it might stand on its own. In the teasing coded poems where the names of woman friends are lightly hidden it shows Poe's reluctance to ostentatiously name his inspirational females, even beyond general market purposes.

-- Anonymous, February 22, 2002

Quite right. But why must we believe that Annabel Lee is Poe's dear wife? If we take autobiographical meaning, in this case, how shall we explain "She was a child... and I was a CHILD"? "Sissy " was far younger than "Eddie". Just metaphorically? But, then, for what purpose ? Yours sincerely, Raven's Shade (Belgium)

-- Anonymous, February 25, 2002

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