'For Annie' by Edgar Allan Poe

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Thank Heaven! the crisis-
The danger is past,
And the lingering illness
Is over at last-
And the fever called "Living"
Is conquered at last.

Sadly, I know
I am shorn of my strength,
And no muscle I move
As I lie at full length-
But no matter!-I feel
I am better at length.

And I rest so composedly,
Now, in my bed
That any beholder
Might fancy me dead-
Might start at beholding me,
Thinking me dead.

The moaning and groaning,
The sighing and sobbing,
Are quieted now,
With that horrible throbbing
At heart:- ah, that horrible,
Horrible throbbing!

The sickness- the nausea-
The pitiless pain-
Have ceased, with the fever
That maddened my brain-
With the fever called "Living"
That burned in my brain.

And oh! of all tortures
That torture the worst
Has abated- the terrible
Torture of thirst
For the naphthaline river
Of Passion accurst:-
I have drunk of a water
That quenches all thirst:-

Of a water that flows,
With a lullaby sound,
From a spring but a very few
Feet under ground-
From a cavern not very far
Down under ground.

And ah! let it never
Be foolishly said
That my room it is gloomy
And narrow my bed;
For man never slept
In a different bed-
And, to sleep, you must slumber
In just such a bed.

My tantalized spirit
Here blandly reposes,
Forgetting, or never
Regretting its roses-
Its old agitations
Of myrtles and roses:

For now, while so quietly
Lying, it fancies
A holier odor
About it, of pansies-
A rosemary odor,
Commingled with pansies-
With rue and the beautiful
Puritan pansies.

And so it lies happily,
Bathing in many
A dream of the truth
And the beauty of Annie-
Drowned in a bath
Of the tresses of Annie.

She tenderly kissed me,
She fondly caressed,
And then I fell gently
To sleep on her breast-
Deeply to sleep
From the heaven of her breast.

When the light was extinguished,
She covered me warm,
And she prayed to the angels
To keep me from harm-
To the queen of the angels
To shield me from harm.

And I lie so composedly,
Now, in my bed,
(Knowing her love)
That you fancy me dead-
And I rest so contentedly,
Now, in my bed,
(With her love at my breast)
That you fancy me dead-
That you shudder to look at me,
Thinking me dead.

But my heart it is brighter
Than all of the many
Stars in the sky,
For it sparkles with Annie-
It glows with the light
Of the love of my Annie-
With the thought of the light
Of the eyes of my Annie.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Exploring the Haunting Beauty of "For Annie" by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most celebrated writers of the Gothic genre, has left an indelible mark on the literary world with his twisted and melancholic tales. However, he was also a master of poetry, and his works continue to enchant readers with their haunting beauty and lyrical prowess. "For Annie," one of Poe's lesser-known poems, is a prime example of his poetic brilliance, evoking a sense of eerie mystique and emotional depth that is characteristic of his style.

Understanding the Poem's Setting and Theme

The poem opens with the speaker confessing his love to a woman named Annie. From the outset, we can sense that the speaker is deeply in love with this woman, and his words are imbued with a sense of longing and passion. However, as the poem progresses, we realize that the setting is not a typical love story. Instead, the speaker is addressing Annie from beyond the grave, having been consumed by illness and madness.

The theme of death and madness is a common thread that runs through much of Poe's work, and "For Annie" is no exception. The poem's setting and tone are both suffused with an otherworldly aura, as if the speaker is communicating from a realm beyond our understanding. This sense of a supernatural presence is further reinforced by the poem's use of vivid and evocative imagery, which creates a sense of foreboding and unease.

Analyzing the Poem's Structure and Rhyme Scheme

Poe's mastery of poetic form is evident in "For Annie," which is composed of six stanzas, each containing six lines. The poem employs a consistent rhyme scheme, with aabccb being used throughout the poem. This repetition creates a sense of unity and coherence, as if the poem is building towards a climactic moment.

The poem's structure is also notable for its use of repetition, particularly in the final stanza. The line "And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor" is repeated four times, each time with a slightly different emphasis. This repetition creates a sense of hypnotic rhythm and reinforces the poem's haunting atmosphere.

Exploring the Poem's Symbolism and Imagery

Like much of Poe's poetry, "For Annie" is rich with symbolism and imagery, which serves to deepen the poem's thematic and emotional impact. One of the most striking symbols in the poem is the "dim lake of Auber," which the speaker describes as "sorrowful and dim and spectral." This lake represents both the speaker's own emotional turmoil and the realm of death and the afterlife.

The imagery used in the poem is also incredibly powerful, particularly in the way that it evokes a sense of the supernatural. The line "And I lay so still, oh, so still, / And the stilly hour went by, / With a gray mist on the sea-weed chill, / And the gray dawn on the sky" creates a vivid and haunting picture of a ghostly figure lying in stillness, waiting for the dawn of a new day.

Unpacking the Poem's Emotional depth

Perhaps the most striking aspect of "For Annie" is its emotional depth. Despite the poem's supernatural setting, the speaker's love for Annie feels incredibly real and raw. His words are infused with a sense of heartbreak and desperation, as if he is yearning for something that he can never have.

This sense of emotional turmoil is particularly evident in the final stanza, where the repetition of the line "And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor" creates a powerful sense of loss and despair. The speaker's final words, "Annie! my dreams! my phantom! my soul!" are both haunting and poignant, capturing the depth of his love and the pain of his separation from the living world.


In "For Annie," Edgar Allan Poe showcases his mastery of poetic form and his ability to weave complex themes and emotions into his work. The poem's haunting imagery and supernatural setting create a sense of unease and foreboding, while its use of repetition and symbolism add depth and complexity to the speaker's emotional journey.

Despite its relatively humble status in Poe's oeuvre, "For Annie" is a fascinating and deeply affecting work that showcases the full range of the author's poetic talents. Whether you are a fan of Gothic literature or simply appreciate the beauty of finely crafted poetry, "For Annie" is a work that deserves to be read and appreciated.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry For Annie: A Masterpiece by Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe, the master of macabre, is known for his dark and haunting tales of horror. However, he was also a prolific poet, and his works are a testament to his genius. One of his most famous poems is "Poetry For Annie," a beautiful and melancholic piece that captures the essence of love and loss.

The poem was written in 1849, just a few months before Poe's death. It is believed to have been inspired by his wife, Virginia, who was suffering from tuberculosis at the time. The poem is addressed to Annie, who is believed to be a fictional character, but some speculate that she may have been a real person who was close to Poe.

The poem begins with the lines, "Thank Heaven! the crisis, / The danger, is past, / And the lingering illness / Is over at last." These lines suggest that the speaker has been through a difficult time, possibly a long illness, and is now relieved that it is over. The use of exclamation marks in these lines conveys a sense of excitement and relief, as if the speaker is overjoyed to have come out of a dark period.

The next stanza of the poem is where the speaker begins to express his love for Annie. He says, "And the fever called 'Living' / Is conquered at last." Here, the speaker is using the metaphor of a fever to describe the intensity of his emotions. He is saying that his love for Annie was so strong that it felt like a fever, but now that she is gone, that fever has been conquered.

The third stanza of the poem is where the speaker begins to reflect on his loss. He says, "Sadly, I know / I am shorn of my strength, / And no muscle I move / As I lie at full length." These lines suggest that the speaker is now weak and powerless, as if he has been drained of all his energy. The use of the word "shorn" implies that he has been stripped of something essential, perhaps his will to live.

The fourth stanza of the poem is where the speaker begins to contemplate death. He says, "But no matter! - the worm / Is not so much to blame / As the soul that resigns / Itself to the flame!" Here, the speaker is saying that death is not something to be feared, but rather something that is natural and inevitable. He is suggesting that it is not the physical body that is to blame for death, but rather the soul that gives up and resigns itself to the flame.

The final stanza of the poem is where the speaker expresses his hope for the future. He says, "Arousing from the dream / Of a nation-tilting steam, / Which the world shall yet redeem!" Here, the speaker is saying that he hopes for a better future, one where the world will be redeemed from its troubles. The use of the metaphor of a "nation-tilting steam" suggests that the world is in a state of chaos, but that it can be fixed.

Overall, "Poetry For Annie" is a beautiful and melancholic poem that captures the essence of love and loss. It is a testament to Poe's genius as a poet, and his ability to convey complex emotions through his words. The poem is a reminder that even in the darkest of times, there is always hope for a better future.

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