While the losses in Poe's life through the deaths of beautiful beloved women--his mother, his friend's idolized mother, his young wife--is reflected in his poetry--just as his years living in England under the sway of Gothic influences is reflected in his poetry--his intellectual aesthetic of poetry is also reflected in his poetry since it is through this aesthetic theory that he builds his poetry. An historical approach to discussing "Annabel Lee" might take the route of discussing Poe's historic influence on the theory and development of literature.
According to the Critical Survey of Poetry, Poe, who was one of the few early American poets to be famous while still living, influenced the Symbolist movement in poetry because of their admiration of his conceptualization of "ideal beauty," the musicality of his verse (which some critics derided), and his ability to create atmosphere in poetry. Renowned poets who have similarly attributed admiration and influence to Poe are Yeats, Baudelaire, Eliot, and Dante Rossetti, along with playwright George Bernard Shaw and composers Stravinsky and Debussy.
Other impacts Poe had on the historical development of literature were to devise and advocate a criticism for poetry and book reviewing that exposed bad poetry and writing by insisting that judgments must be made on a system of standards that identifies defects. Along with this, he was a pioneer in defining a poem as a purely aesthetic object that could be justified on purely aesthetic grounds regardless of thematic meaning or truthfulness, as was advocated by the "art for art's sake" movement.
In conjunction with these ideas, he advocated leaving the realms of truth and logic to works of prose, such as the novel or short story, because poetry, an aesthetic art form, was primarily occupied with producing an effect on the reader. "Annabel Lee" can be analyzed in terms of Poe's theory and aesthetics and in terms of the qualities that made his work such a widespread and strong influence of other writers and on whole movements.
Essay about Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
1009 Words5 Pages
An exceptional poem can move the reader to a new consciousness. It becomes more than words pieced together to make a rhyme, and evokes true emotion that is palpable. One of the most influential authors that contributed to this experience was Edgar Allan Poe. His work is almost immediately recognizable due to his common motif that is both melancholy and mysterious. Much of his writing concerns love and loss, such as in his poem “Annabel Lee.” The essence of this work is endless love and the death of a beautiful young girl. It is thought by many that most of his literature mirrors his actual life, which was riddled with heartbreak and sorrow. It is evident from the mood and setting of his writing that he dealt with a lot of…show more content…
Poe eventually married his thirteen-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm. She proved to be the great love of his life, but she too, unfortunately, died of tuberculosis at the young age of twenty-five. He struggled with alcoholism and opiate abuse, along with a rocky writing career in which he never received the accolades he deserved while living. After his death he became one of the most acclaimed short story writers and poets in history. His writing could be viewed as eerie and disturbing, but one thing is certain, he definitely stood out with his distinct style. One author wrote:
The enigma of Poe's survival clearly is explained by his universality … I published a review ¬essay that emphasized both Poe's hysterical badness and his inescapability… Letters poured in, many questioning my motives, and at least two radio programs accommodated outraged lovers of Poe, some of them quite passionate at denouncing me. Poe can write as badly as anyone in the language, but it makes little difference. Legions of many regions (not just the South) charge fiercely in his favor, with quasi-religious zeal. The cultural effect and influence of Poe transcend his aesthetic inadequacies. (Bloom 9-10).
Although all did not necessarily praise Poe’s writing, he has certainly remained one of the most notorious writers in history. In reference to Poe’s poetry, most recall “The Raven”, however