Annabel Lee or Annabelle Lea

This is my second go at the “anonymous woman” series of pictures I was doing, rendered in 6″ x 6″ pencil and black ink pictures. My second one has a personal connection that starts with Edgar Allan Poe.

Not that I’m related, but I have always had a deep and profound respect for Poe’s work.

One work in particular that is quite personal is his poem “Annabel Lee.” Written in 1849, very likely, and inspired by the love Poe had for his own wife. It is a tragic poem.

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.

Interestingly, it was the adaptation of the poem to a song by Sarah Jaraz that ended up resonating with me and my wife. Here song version of Annabel Lee is an adaptation on Poe’s poem:

Annabelle Lee

Many a year ago
In a kingdom by the sea
There lived a maiden you may know
By the name of Annabelle Lee
No other thought did trouble her mind
But to love and be loved by me
We were children both
In this kingdom by the sea
But we loved with a love that was more than love
I and my Annabelle Lee
With a love that the winged angels high
Coveted her and me
This was the reason long ago
In this kingdom by the sea
A wind blew from a stormy cloud
That took my Annabelle Lee
Then her wicked brothers came
To steal her away from me
They shut her up in a tomb below
This kingdom by the sea
But no maiden’s grave could sever my soul
From the love she bore for me
For the moon don’t beam without a dream
Of my darling Annabelle Lee
For many years I’ve wandered
Through this kingdom by the sea
I’ve laid myself beside the bones
Of my beautiful Annabelle Lee
I’ll make my bed near the rising tide
In her tomb by the sounding sea

From this song my wife and I decided on the name of our first child and only daughter: Annabelle Lea (middle name modified to fit a family name).

The song and my daughter are the inspiration for the black and white and color modified versions.

Pencil, pen and minor flurry of color marker color.
Color edited using markups on the image via iPad.

This is not the last appearance by a Poe work I created.

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