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Poe's Poetry Essay

1419 words - 6 pages

With fascinating rhyme scheme and an enthralling setting, Edgar Allen Poe draws readers into his dreadfully frightening poems. His poems are best known for being extremely grim and macabre, but with a hint of Romanticism in them. “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee” depict Romanticism being described by feelings and imagination. These poems reflect the reality that the author is dealing with different views in the way lovers grieving and the way of dealing with death. He is also able to make two poems that seem very similar completely different. These are all factors in both poems that make these two poems with a similar theme accomplish parallel purposes in emphasizing the theme of the unreliable narrator in Poe’s works.
The unnamed narrators in both Annabel Lee and The Raven, though remarkably similar, have very subtle differences in several ways. There seems to be a sense of sadness and suspense that haunts the narrator in The Raven. The sense of melancholy and apprehension permeates the poem several times. “Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore”; these are only the second lines of “The Raven, yet the reader gets the feeling that the narrator is retelling a story of his past, the “curious volume of forgotten lore”. The anxiety begins to build early in the poem, starting in line four. While the narrator is at home alone, he hears “someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door”. He assumes it is a visitor, and is surprised to see “Darkness there and nothing more” (Line 24). This is the way he builds anticipation gradually and sets the mood. There seems to be a sense of brooding from the narrator and use of the words “Terrors, Darkness, Dirges, and Grave” give a feeling of bleakness and hopelessness. The atmosphere however, in “Annabel Lee” is somewhat reminiscent and elegiac. Although it is an equally depressive poem, it seems to contain an extra element that “The Raven” did not have. This poem contains anger. The narrator is angry. He is sad that his wife is deceased but he is mad that God took her away from him. This narrator seems to be more resolute in his love over his love. He claims they have an eternal union that “neither the angels in heaven above/Nor the demons down under the sea” (Line 30-31) can separate them. This narrator has optimism, he sees an everlasting love; meanwhile the narrator from “The Raven” seems to have given up all hope and is willing to accept his fate.
Edgar Allan Poe’s analysis on poetry is that every poem should be “rhythmical creation of beauty”. No other poems have captured the clever sense of rhythm and measure as much as “Annabel Lee” and “The Raven”. Poe is able to create two diverse poems from the same topic, while never wavering from his rhythmic formula. Though they both contain alliteration and similar rhythmic pattern, there is a faint difference between the two. “Thrilled me-filled me with fantastic terror never felt before/So that now, to the beating of my heart, I stood...

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