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D.W. Metz


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My newest collection of poetry, BORDER LINE POETRY, is now available.

lines divide us,
with lines they
try to define us;
inspected at
the border,
lines blur.
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Met up with Grip in the Rare Book Collection of the Philadelphia library
8 Photos - View album
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Originally shared by ****
'An Analysis of Edgar Allan Poe's Poem
'Annabel Lee'
October 9, 1849 a poem was published in the New York Daily Tribune. It would be the last poem of a poet I consider the greatest American romance poet to ever live. Many of his poems were of ladies he flirted with. He was an admirer of lyrical poetry, not so much of narrative poetry. Like me, his favorite poets no doubt were the great English romance poets, Byron, Tennyson, and Shelley. Lord Tennyson himself said of Poe that he, 'was the most original genius that America has produced.' T.S. Eliot once wrote, ' Only after you find that a poem by Poe goes on throbbing in your head do you begin to suspect that perhaps you will never forget it.' One interesting note about Poe's last Poem is that Poe took certain steps to make sure that this poem would be published; perhaps this was due to him knowing he had just created one of the worlds greatest love poems, his masterpiece and wanted to make sure that the world saw such beauty. Sadly, he never lived to see his poem published: for he would die under very mysterious circumstances just two days before it's publication. Oddly one manuscript has a slighly different last line, perhaps the poem we read today is not the one he intended; though in close inspection the more melodious word 'sounding' instead of the phrase 'side of the' sounds better to my own poetic ear, and is the one used today.

Along the South Carolina shores there is a local legend. One that tells the take of a woman named Annabel Lee. It is said she met a sailor there, yet her father did not approve of their pairing and forbid them from seeing one another. It is said that the pair met in secret at a graveyard, yet soon the sailor would soon sail on from that town of Charleston. Yet away at sea he heard the tragic news of his darling Annabel Lee, that she had caught scarlet fever and had died. He wished to attend her funeral, yet her father would not allow him to do so. So, it is said that he not knowing the place she was buried, instead visited the cemetary were they would often meet; and there in vigil thought of the girl he had lost. Though no one knows for certain, locals in Charleston believe almost for certain that Poe was inspired by this legend, especially since he was for a short period of time stationed there In 1827 while serving in the army. Perhaps Poe was inspired by this tale; yet as with many poets like myself, Poe no doubt placed a little of his own life story into his poetry as well. There are clues in this poem that indeed this is true; parts of Poe's life are reflected very much so, in this poem I will analyse; his last, and greatest masterpiece, 'Annabel Lee.'

I will explain all the themes of each stanza and go into the many technical details, yet first I must tell everyone what I find so beautiful about this poem, namely, it's melodic tone, almost as if it where a song. It is perhaps the most lyrical poem that I have ever read. Poe's skill at internal rhyming is absolutely breathtaking. Also the use of a the same words as end rhymes is not typical of most poems and creates a truly hypnotic effect, and has an overall unifying effect as well What I also find very striking about this poem, though not technically a ballad, it is referred to as a ballad. And I totally agree, it reminds me so much of an English ballad in form; this is true because of his use of tetrameter and trimeter, the 4/3 pattern is unique to the English Ballad. He also uses alliteration with the use of the letter 'L.' This is a letter he often uses for names throught his works. Also of note is his repeated use of phrases and words, which adds to the mournful effect of this very emotive poem. Poe wrote his last poem almost entirely in anapestic tetrameter except for the b rhyme lines, which are written in trimeter. Though mostly anapestic, this poem does has a few iambic feet as well, perhaps to add variation. Poe, like me, loved using anapests. Below is an example of Poe's extensive use of anapests in this very melodic poem followed by a careful analyses of each stanza theme, form and rhyming pattern.

It was MA|ny and MA|ny a YEAR|aGO
In a KING|dom BY|the SEA
For the MOON|never BEAMS
Without BRING|ing me DREAMS
Of the BEAU|tiful ANN|abel LEE

Stanza 1 'Fairy Tale'
This poem begins exactly as one would begin a classic fairy tale. Yet here the minor details later one become crucial for the big picture later on, the ever after.
Poetic form: sestet
Rhyme scheme: ababxb
End rhymes: (ago, sea, know, Lee, thought, me)

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.

Stanza 2 'Seraphs'
Love, love, love. This stanza is all about love and how that the angels are jealous of this love. He repeats stanza 1 lines for hypnotic effect
Poetic form: sestet
Rhyme scheme: xbcbdb
End rhymes: (child, sea, love, Lee, Heaven, me)

She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love that was more than love--
I and my Annabel Lee--
With a love that the winged seraphs of heaven
Coveted her and me.

Stanza 3 'Volta of Tragedy'
Tragedy, loss, hint of forbidden love, etc. This the most crucial stanza, where the main theme and twist of the whole poem is revealed,. Like line nine in a Shakespearean sonnet, it is the Volta of the entire poem.
Poetic form: octave
Rhyme scheme: abxbxbxb
End rhymes: (ago, sea, chilling, Lee, came, me, sepulchre, sea)

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her high-born kinsman came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre
In this kingdom by the sea.

Stanza 4 'Seraphs II'
Adds a bit more descriptive information of Volta, repeats stanza 2's theme.
Poetic form: sestet
Rhyme scheme: dbabxb
End rhymes: (Heaven, me, know, sea, night, Lee)

The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:--
Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of a cloud by night,
Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.

Stanza 5 'The Eternal'
Speaks of the eternalness of love. Nothing can seperate us from true love, not even death.
Poetic form: septet
Rhyme scheme: xbxbeebb
End rhymes: (love, we, we, above, sea, soul, Lee)

But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of those who were older than we--
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above,
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:--

Stanza 6 'Dreams'
Otherworldliness looms ever so heavily in the conclusion. It is not a happy fairytale ending. The last lined tell of seeing her in dreams, of her eyes, and of lying next to her. And the final line ends with the sound of waves crashing.
Poetic form: octave
Rhyme scheme: xbxbeebb
End rhymes: ( dreams, Lee, eyes, Lee, side, bride, sea, sea)

For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise but I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulchre there by the sea--
In her tomb by the side of the sea.

Miscellaneous Notes:
Alliterated letter: L
Repeated phrase: my darling
a rhymes: ago, know
b rhymes: Lee, me, sea, we
c rhymes: love
d rhymes: Heaven
e rhymes: side, bride


ο»Ώ Disclaimer: I claim no rights to the photo as it may be copyrighted by its owner. (Also, my essays are my own opinions and thoughts on the craft of poetry after doing much research, yet do not necessarily reflect the thoughts and opinions of others, poets who may disagree with my opinions and thoughts on how to write classical poetry, which I respect. I am always learning the craft of poetry, it is a very complex art to master and am always open to differing opinions; and if ever I do find mistakes in my essays I do rewrite them. Mine is just one way, not necessarily the only way to write poetry. Every poet I believe must find their own voice, yet by studying the techniques of the great masters of poetry from the past I truly feel is not only the best but the only way to become a better poet. I hope this essay helps my poetic peers learn the craft of classical poetry.)
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sepulchers dry in the sun, as
peals from steeples ripple over
elysian fields – carry your name;
languorous laments
let go their boney grasp;
boundless in your beauty
on my palette, your color spreads
undulations in ribbed cages;
night wraps her budding moon,
destined to burn.


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