Growing up, I wasn’t really exposed to the beauty of poetry. My first books were encyclopaedias about Neanderthals, Ancient Egypt, Ancient History, Space, and Jungle Animals – even my fairy tales came through Disney movies. When I started really delving into the wide sea of literature, this poem by Edgar Allan Poe cemented my blossoming love affair with poetry.
It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,That a maiden there lived whom you may knowBy the name of Annabel Lee;And this maiden she lived with no other thoughtThan to love and be loved by me.I was a child and she 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 wingèd seraphs of HeavenCoveted her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,In this kingdom by the sea,A wind blew out of a cloud, chillingMy beautiful Annabel Lee;So that her highborn kinsmen cameAnd bore her away from me,To shut her up in a sepulchreIn this kingdom by the sea.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 the cloud by night,Chilling and killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the loveOf those who were older than we—Of many far wiser than we—And neither the angels in Heaven aboveNor the demons down under the seaCan ever dissever my soul from the soulOf the beautiful Annabel Lee;
For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreamsOf the beautiful Annabel Lee;And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyesOf the beautiful Annabel Lee;And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the sideOf my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,In her sepulchre there by the sea—In her tomb by the sounding sea.
(Poem: “Annabelle Lee,” written by Edgar Allan Poe, master writer of the gothic genre.)