Student Responses to Poe’s “Annabel Lee”

Student Responses to Poe's

After reading Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee,” some freshmen in Dr. Hannigan’s class had an in-class debate discussing the love between the speaker and the character named in the title. This led to a hypothetical discussion about how Annabel Lee might have felt, since her feelings are not expressed in the poem. Here are some creative writing responses the students shared as they created names for the speaker and shared ideas about what he and Annabel Lee might write about their love:

Dear Theo,
My love for you is unmatched and unconditional. Ever since we first laid eyes on each other, I knew fate brought us together. Throughout the years, I found myself falling deeper in love with you, which I didn’t think was possible.
I’ve seen you grow as a person and a man that I love with all my soul and being. Theo, you complete me and make me strive to be the best I can be. Not a day goes by where I don’t think of you. Even when we aren’t physically together we are always connected. You are truly my everything and the one for me. I look forward to starting a family and growing old with my best friend.
With love,
Annabel Lee
(Written by Keenahnee Ephraim)

Dear Sebastian,
I think that it’s time to move on; we should also find new people. It would be better off that way because we both know that I’m going to die one day. Once that happens, you may be heartbroken. I don’t want you to be sad.
You’ve been the best thing that has happened to me. You have showed me that you love me and that you care about me completely. I really appreciate you for that, but what happens if our love dies or, even worse, if I die?
I am writing this to protect you. It’s time to move on and live your life without me. I know you’re not going to accept this, and I love when you call me your ¨beautiful Annabel Lee.” I’m touched. It’s unforgettable, and so is your love. Just letting you know this should make it easier for us to go separate ways. It’s better off like that.
Your beautiful Annabel Lee
(Written by Ashley Guamantario)

My dear Bob, my eternal love….It’s me, Ann. Oh, how I’ve missed you; how I’ve pained not having the ability to feel your body, your lips. It’s pained me to see you suffer for so long yearning for me to come to you, to live and love with you.
But I can’t.
Not even for a glance may I visit you because the constraints of the heavens and underworld keep us apart. I write to you because it hurts me to see you in pain reaching out to me. I want you to live on, to find a new love, a new life without me.
Please don’t carry this sadness with you. That’s not what I want. I never wanted you to be in this state. It makes me sad to see you. You do not need me. You are worthy of much more than a love from the past. Please live on, go on. Never stop living. You will see me…one day.
(Written by Bryan Altuna)

Dear Journal,
It’s Friday, and it’s another day I’m with him. I do love him, but there’s something wrong. I know he would die for me, but would I die for him? Don’t get me wrong, as I said, I do love him, but it’s just not the same way he loves me.
I don’t know what to do. I want to be with him, I really do, but Oh, God, I just don’t know. I hate this so much because I don’t want to hurt him. I know I’m hurting myself if I keep lying to him.
Why is this so hard? Maybe I could slowly start to feel the same over time? Oh, yes! I could do that and then we both could feel the same. Wouldn’t that be love forever?
Please! Who am I kidding? The only thing that will stay forever is my sadness for myself and him if I stay. Wait…should I just go and never see him ever again? I can’t do that. Even if I wanted to, what type of person would I be if I actually do it? Also, if I left I wouldn’t just be leaving. I would be leaving with his happiness and heart. That’s another reason I can’t go. This is it! I’m staying, and whatever happens, happens. I know he loves me like no other man would, and he would absolutely do anything to make me happy, so why can’t I do the same for him? Time will pass and my feelings will get stronger because I do love him…or at least that’s what I’m going to force myself to do.
(Journal entry written by Jessica Peralta)

My dearest lover Anthony,
I often think of you and me,
And what great lovers we used to be.
I often wish I could be free
From the chains these angels put on me.
I wish that when you looked up you could see
I’m watching you, your beautiful Annabel Lee.

Oh my love, so many years have passed.
We should’ve known our love wouldn’t last.
Down there I bet people frequently ask
Why you can’t let me go and leave the past in the past.

My darling, you must understand
That now you can never have my hand.
For my heart, you no longer command.
Our love is but a grain of sand.
You must find someone else to love you in this vast land.
For me, my love, I no longer can.

Poem from Annabel Lee to Anthony, her love
(Anonymous student)