Cover image for Annabel Lee : the poem
Annabel Lee : the poem
Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849.
Publication Information:
Montréal : Tundra Books, 1987.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.1 0.5 20403.
Format :

On Order



Edgar Allan Poe's dream poem is as close to music as words can ever come. First published on October 9, 1849 -- two days after Poe's death -- this haunting, lyric poem is thought to have been written in memory of Poe's young wife, Virginia, who died in 1847. Gilles Tibo has set the poem in his native Quebec, where the narrator and his childhood love Annabel Lee discover the beauty of the rugged, wind-swept Gaspé Peninsula. But when Annabel Lee dies and is borne away as mysteriously as she had come, the dream goes on, refreshed each time that the moon beams and the stars shine down upon the great rock of Percé that becomes her sepulcher.

Author Notes

Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 19, 1809. In 1827, he enlisted in the United States Army and his first collection of poems, Tamerlane and Other Poems, was published. In 1835, he became the editor of the Southern Literary Messenger. Over the next ten years, Poe would edit a number of literary journals including the Burton's Gentleman's Magazine and Graham's Magazine in Philadelphia and the Broadway Journal in New York City. It was during these years that he established himself as a poet, a short story writer, and an editor. His works include The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, A Descent into the Maelstrom, The Masque of the Red Death, and The Raven. He struggle with depression and alcoholism his entire life and died on October 7, 1849 at the age of 40.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 5-9. Poe's famous nineteenth-century poem takes on new meaning through the impressionistic renderings of this French Canadian artist. Tibo sets his scene on the Gaspe Peninsula of his native Quebec, creating atmosphere through color and misty suggestions of boats, rocks, and cresting waves. Emotional power is high: the pale colors used during the narrator's carefree time with Annabel Lee are replaced with darker, more somber tones when the girl dies; the stark white ghost ship against brooding skies brings dramatic intensity; and the boy's sense of loss is portrayed in the despairing contours of the boy's body and in the lonely landscapes. The last small, boxed spread depicting the coming sunrise and the uplifted arms of the standing figure notes acceptance of his loss. The characters in most scenes are wisely shown from the back, which is effective, since the faces have a L'il Orphan Annie- look that seems out of step with the otherwise highly satisfying presentation. A worthwhile addition to the single-illustrated versions of poems appearing of late, and one sure to spark discussion in the classroom. BE. 811'.3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The subtly exquisite sky- and seascapes in Tibo's paintings more than compensate for his vacant-featured lovers in this interpretation of the classic poem. All ages. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up Tibo's stagy illustrations, lightly misted and suffused with a mildly eerie inner glow, form an adequate accompaniment to Poe's famous paean to idyllic love lost. Ignoring the vacant-eyed faces of the children, one can even admire the modulation of the artist's palette, as the initial pastels change to a darkling combination of blues and blacks complementing the downward spiral of the text. The real question, however, is not one of synchronizing words and pictures but of choice: why illustrate this particular poem at all, let alone in picture book format? The language is certainly vivid enough to evoke its own images, unaided by artistic intervention. Although ``Annabel'' has doubtless plucked many a prepubescent heart string (when longing for lost love may seem much less threatening than hanky panky in the last row at the local movie theater), these illustrations are too young for that age group. And what the post-sandbox set could or would make of ``sepulcher there by the sea/ In her tomb by the sounding sea,'' is something else altogether. Such expenditure of artistic effort should be preceded by educated selection. Kristi Thomas Beavin, Arlington County Public Library, Va. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.