The Dream I Found You

Is that all we see or seem,

But a dream within a dream?

What a compelling quote, ain’t it? This and only this is enough for why one should read and try to understand Edgar Allan Poe.

Edgar Allan Poe

Today, I’d like to present to you one of my favourite people in the 19th century. Poe is known for his gothic style themed psychological short stories as well as his poems. He is a poet of grief, love and death or in his words ‘mournful and never-ending remembrance’. If you ask what I love about him the most, I’d answer as his ability to elicit emotions and feeling through writing.

One thing Poe stated about his poems is ”the death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world, and equally is it beyond doubt that the lips best suited for such topic are those of a bereaved lover.” Like most authors, he wasn’t appreciated when living; however, his works undoubtedly will be remembered and enjoyed. But, there is one that will have a room in my heart and bookshelf. It’s named “Annabel Lee” in which Poe illustrates of a woman who lives far away ‘in a kingdom by the sea’.

Annabel Lee

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.

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 Heaven

   Coveted her and me.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
   In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud, chilling
   My beautiful Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
   And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulchre

   In 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 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;

For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
   Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise, but I feel 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 sounding sea.

click here to listen to the poem by Joan Baez

Poe’s wife Virginia

Even though there is no evidence or information about whom Poe put into words in the poem, it is believed that his inspiration was the death of his wife; Virginia Eliza Clemm who was also his cousin. She died in 1847 at the age of 24 due to tuberculosis.

Since the past tense used in the poem, we can state that ‘Annabel Lee’ is both a painful and a beautiful memory. It’s for the remembrance of his long-lost childhood love. A love that even angels from heaven noticed and were jealous about. He accuses them of the killing of Annabel Lee. A wind delivered by angels appeared, which made her sick and eventually killed her. However, he knows his love is everlasting, and no angel or devil could dissever them. In fact, every night he goes and lies down in her tomb. He dreams of her bright eyes. Even if her body has perished, their souls are in love. Their love is eternal.

6777143_origI think Poe wrote this to portray the idea of loving somebody forever. When two people are truly meant for each other, no external; nor mortal neither immortal force can stop them loving eternally. I believe Poe used the death of his girlfriend to tell us that love is not only a shiny, beautiful thing but perhaps death may be a start of something new, something great.

Those who know me know that I’m not an optimist but a pessimist. -I have reasons for that, but it’s not the topic of this post. – I keep saying this because living everyday itself is a hard action. Yet we should have something to live for, something to hold onto. Stay with love, with passion.


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