Many poets and story writers write their stories based upon events and aspects of their life. They do this because it is so relatable and easy to write about because there is some truth in the words. Edgar Allan Poe is said to be one of these because his stories actually relate to his tragic, love stricken life. He is known to lead an overall depressing life that was full of loss and grief of loved ones. So because of this, Poe suffered most of his life. But although he had many misfortunes, he resorted to his passion of poetry to help him.
Poe wrote many stories and poems that both reflected and represented his life. Stories such as Annabel Lee strongly show this as it is about the death of a loved women. Edgar Allan Poe was a mysterious man that accomplished many feats and went on to become one of the world’s most famous poets, although he also had a devastating life. On January 19th, 1809, Edgar Poe was born in Boston (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia). He began his tragic life at a young age of three years old when his mother died and father left him (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia).
Then as an orphan, young Edgar was adopted by his uncle, a tobacco merchant, John Allan, and his wife Frances (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia). After years of school, Poe was admitted to the University of Virginia at only sixteen, but stayed for only one semester because of lack of financial aid from Allan (Giordano). Angry with Allan, Poe decided to enlist into the army as a private (Giordano). There, he published his first book in 1827, “Tamerlane and Other Poems,” and his career as a writer spiraled outward from there (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia).
Poe continued to write and publish small books, earned little money, and did what he could to get noticed. He soon had another book published and by this point, he had a great fan base and was considered a celebrity in Baltimore (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia). His readers felt his work was so unique and sometimes even asked for autographs from Poe. From this publicity, he was earning good money. But the good fortune didn’t last long and he was soon at the poverty level again and moved back and forth from New York to Virginia, submitting stories to and working for different magazines, getting small amounts of money here and there.
Then, in 1841, while working for Grahams Magazine (“Edgar Allan Poe” NNBD), Poe wrote the first ever detective story, a murder mystery. It was titled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (Giordano). The public had never seen this kind of story so it immediately became famous and Edgar’s fame rose even higher. Poe had created a whole new topic in literature and some agree that this was his greatest contribution to world literature. In the next several years, Poe lost his wife Virginia but continued writing novels and stories in his grief (“Edgar Allan Poe” Gale).
This is said to be a basis for inspirations for his stories such as Annabel Lee and others (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia). He once said “The death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world. ” (LeVert 12). When not further loved, Poe tried to commit suicide in Boston (“Edgar Allan Poe” NNBD). In this state of depression, Poe wrote the poem “Annabel Lee” using his favorite theme, the grief a man feels when he loses women (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia). Poe died on the October 7th due to complications related to a brain lesion (Giordano).
This was the end of the tragic life of poet Edgar Allan Poe. Edgar Allan Poe led an influential but very rough life. He was usually in need of money despite his fame, but wrote a total of 30 books alongside starting a whole new genre of writing. This author/poet wrote some of the best stories and poems and although he wasn’t so lucky in the events of his life, he will always be remembered as a great influence on American Literature. One of the stories Poe wrote relating to the “death of a beautiful women” was Annabel Lee wrote in 1849, approximately 5 months before his death.
This makes sense because throughout his life, Poe had lost many women to death in his life including his mother and his only wife Virginia, who died two years prior to the poem being written (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia). There has been debate on who this tragic story is about but most believe that is was truly written for Virginia, who he had married when she was 13 years old and died in 1847 (Giordano). This is supported by the fact that Virginia was Edgar’s only marriage, and the only one of his girlfriends that had died (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia).
Also, in the poem, the narrator says that he fell in love with “Annabel Lee” when they were children and he did make her his wife (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia). The famous poem is about, again, the death of a beautiful woman named Annabel Lee and the eternal love after death he fells for her. The narrator says that “even winged seraphs of heaven coveted her and me” meaning that even the angels in heaven were jealous of the love he and Annabel shared (Giordano).
Like Poe’s love for Virginia, the narrator expresses great loss and sadness when she dies, losing his one true love. As also implied in the poem, he sits by her grave at night just to be near his loved one. This shows the divine love he had for “Annabel Lee” (Giordano). Annabel Lee is a prose poem written in the first person and was first published in Sartain’s Union Magazine. As it was so close to his date of death, it was his very last completed poem (“Edgar Allan Poe” Wikipedia).
Edgar Allan Poe had a great impact in the poetry and the overall literature world. He was a very mysterious man who lived a tough life and went through several struggles including death of loved ones. But from these losses and hardships came the inspiration for incredible poems like “Annabel Lee”. He wrote some of the world’s best poems, short stories, and novels and in doing so introduced the first detective story to America. The inspiring work he produced will be read and cherished forever.
Courtney from Study Moose