You and Me and Annabel Lee

Ah, National Poetry Month 2015. Are you as excited as I am? Actually, I shouldn’t give the wrong impression. I am eager to take part in celebrating poetry, but in all truth, I’m able to do that whether it’s National Poetry Month or not … and so might we all. So, to borrow an expression from racing, Gentlemen, start your engines!


When I began to think about National Poetry Month and the NaPoWriMo 2015 challenge, my thoughts naturally gravitated to one of my favorite poets, the estimable Edgar Allan Poe. Say it with me, POE – T – R – Y ! If ever a man had a perfect name for writing poetry, it is Poe!

With my married name, I came close – (P) – OE – L – S – C – H – L – A – E – G – E – R , but not nearly close enough to give the guy a run for his money, as it were. Truth be told, the genius of Poe is way beyond my humble talents. Nevertheless, I thought it would be appropriate to launch the 2015 National Poetry Month with a meager tribute to Poe’s poetry.

I chose the poem Annabel Lee which was the last completed poem written by Poe and published after his death. This delightful poem has great rhythm (as Poe consistently demonstrates with his poetry) and a terrific repetition (with subtle variation) of lines.

Using Annabel Lee as my model, I constructed the anthem below. The structure is slightly different, in that I’ve used twelve-line stanzas with an added thirteenth line on the last stanza (a coda, similar to Poe’s ending). I’m not usually comfortable including poems of this length in my posts, but this being National Poetry Month, I decided to make an exception.

In Annabel Lee, Poe focuses on the death (conflict) of his lady and her entombment, but as I worked through my poem, death was obviously not an option, so my “conflict” became more of a philosophical one. Poe also uses the image “by the sea” and I’ve borrowed that image, modifying its proximity (at the beginning “far removed from the sea” and later “to a cave by the sea“). Other than to say it worked for me, I can’t really explain why. (One of the infinite mysteries of creative process?)

Herewith the poem and feedback is always welcome!

An Anthem to Poetry, poetry, Poe, verse
An Anthem To Poetry

6 thoughts on “You and Me and Annabel Lee

  1. Great opening salvo for the month!
    I like the part where the critics come in to dictate free-verse.

    The only thing I would consider changing would be the word “pal” (maybe to Muse, or Mate, or Mind, or Soul…?)

    1. Ah, an interesting suggestion. My Beloved often calls me “pal” so that determined my choice of the word. I will take the suggestion under advisement. Thanks!

  2. You are so much better than I am at this poetry thang! Rhythm and rhyme come so naturally to you. I’m looking forward to celebrating poetry with you this month!

    1. No, no, Debbie. Don’t sell yourself short (though we’re both short)! I always appreciate your encouragement but I think you’ve got it as well!

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