annabel lee : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

i am working on a paper "Whom Annabel Lee may bee" and would like to know where a good place to research may be.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2003


Read the poem, and look at his only wife. Maybe you'll see some connection.

-- Anonymous, November 11, 2003

Try Mabbott's Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Poems for some really excellent historical perpective on sources and the controversies Poe himself contributed to by his uses of the poem in his final months. The book was very recently still in print, the section of that poem fairly brief. Online or paper articles at "Poe Studies"?

The issue of WHO Annabel may be is pretty much a distraction. Sarah Whitman whom Poe was exchanging poems with already claims it was Virginia Poe, thereby drawing some lines in the sand. The source of the poem in an unknown prior poem called "The Mourner" ("Anna" "dear angel" "cot by the side of the sea") or Whitman's "Stanzas for Music" (and her house in Providence might be deemed near the sea, her relatives coming between her and Poe). In "Hop Frog" the little young people(Tripetta and the dwarf) are almost a cacicature of the pair in the poem("I was a child, she was a child")and surely Virginia was young and the older Poe a perennial child at heart of sorts.

BUT this is a work of art no matter who or what personal experiences share in the inspiration of various parts or even to whom the work was dedicated or addressed. It stands apart and alone and in symbolism as do Poe's other best poems and when LEAST biographical they are more the inner landscape of the poet's muse and NOT the plot or characters outside the narrator. Compare the two "To Helen" poems, both about particular women but the first universalized, the second a personal romance, nearly a letter including poetic artifices and samples of more artful abstractions such as a possible poem called "Holy Eyes".

-- Anonymous, November 12, 2003

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