Remember writing doesn't love you. It doesn't care. Nevertheless, it can behave with remarkable generosity. Speak well of it, encourage others, pass it on. A. L. Kennedy

Friday, 5 August 2011

#RomanticFridayWriters challenge for August 5 - My story, 'Annabel!'

Romantic Friday Writers is a blogfest every Friday co-ordinated by myself and Francine Howarth. It is a fun event, showcasing the work of many fine writers, and encouraging honest editing as stories must be a maximum of 400 words. Click on the icon in my sidebar or the link at the end of my post to check out others participating today or join the blogfest yourself. You will be most welcome. We are also found on twitter. We are @RFWER A winner is awarded the recognition of being the week's Featured Writer.

Today the Romantic Friday Writers challenge is Voices. I'm sure this will lead to many and varied stories. However, my story ended up being a poem. I'm currently studying poetry with my students and poor Edgar Allen Poe's voice got into my head. I'm no poet as you can see, but I've attempted a little take on his poem, 'Annabel Lee.' 

By the sea 

The waves smash against the rocks
The seagulls call your name
The moon beams and is bringing me dreams
Of you
and me
by the sea.

By the sea
we laughed, we played, we loved
Until they came
and took you away -
away from me.

 Your beauty was such that the angels in heaven were jealous -
Jealous of our love
As I held you tight on the grassy banks at night
I could hear their voices on the wind -

‘You will not keep her! You will not have her!’
The voices mingled with the crash of the waves
I held you tight, tighter
I crushed you close to me.
They can never dissever our love.
‘Don't leave me, Annabel!’
I cried
My voice ripped away by the wind.

Where are you?
Where have they taken you?
I hear the waves
I hear the gulls
I hear you!
My name is a whisper on the wind.

The sea is cold, so cold
My legs tremble with the chill
The moon threads the waves with its silvery fingers
me to you.

I am so cold Annabel
as the night tide carries me
to you.
Yes, my darling!
I hear you
Your voice is an angel’s call.

The ocean is chilling yet
my heart is thrilling
at the sound of my name on your lips.
Soon we’ll be together
for eternity
The angels will smile at our love -
a love that was more than love
In our Kingdom by the sea.
The beautiful, wild sea.


I hope you enjoyed my poetry. Read some more Romantic Friday Writers stories here or find us on twitter here


  1. Wow; totally evocative. I love the sea, and stories that involve the sea. I'm not a poet, but this moved even me.

    I felt his loss, and a touch of guilt, and all the sadness of separation by death. Ah, my heart hopes they are together in eternity after his surrender to the sea . .


  2. I liked the magical way the prose rolled.

    Thank you.

  3. Donna: Wow, thanks, I was totally expecting to be slammed, but thank you, no doubt that's coming! I'm no poet but it just worked for Voices.

    Nas: Thanks. Was hard to get those words to roll magically!


  4. Bravo! Fabulous imagery and emotions drawn in this piece :O)

  5. Donna already used evocative, but it's the word that fits, so I'm stickin' with it. "My voice ripped away by the wind." Beautiful way to describe this.

  6. Thanks for the prose story - haunting and lovely images.

    If you like poetry, I belong to the D'Verse Poets Pub community. Yesterday, we had a session on Meeting the Critique and Craft, where we post a poem for constructive feedback. I will post a link for your review:

    Please join us if you want you explore the beautiful word of poetry. Its a great community to share ~

  7. Hello Denise.
    You sound like a poet to me!
    Love this, especially "Your beauty was such that the angels in heaven were jealous -
    Jealous of our love".
    Great visuals & emotions throughout.

    Well done!

  8. Don't criticize your poetry. It was beautiful. Poe, I think, would have approved. Roland

  9. I don't feel very qualified to critique poetry! I liked it, it had a haunting quality that matched the picture well.

  10. Every verse seemed to speak out sweetly - I really "felt" this piece, and I'm sure any one who reads it, will do the same!

  11. I read the original somewhere recently. You too have captured that dreadful sense of loss he was feeling.
    Don't say you're not a poet, poetry doesn't have to rhyme at all and, as far as I'm concerned it has no rules either. But then again, what do I know! LOL

  12. Loved this, very emotional and evocative.

  13. Hi,

    Oh, very nice. Good rhythm in prose, and haunting flow throughout! Loved it. ;)


  14. I know nothing about poetry, I only know what I like.

    I liked this. A lot.

  15. Dear Denise,
    Thank you for your comments. Yes I will try to think more about what is romantic. I just wrote a story that I had in my head yesterday and today. (Read my "P.S." in the post, for more of a background.) But I can understand that many will find it a bit too much of the kitchen sink; too autobiographical; too private.

    I'll just keep trying. There is always next Week!

    Through Wikipedia, I looked up Poe's original poem "Annabell Lee" to compare it with your poem. (I am still unpacking my books and don't know where my Poe-books are.)

    I think you have done well to capture the spirit of his poem, but given it a more modern linguistic expression.

    I've never thought of doing this; writing a new poem from the basic feeling of a well-known one. But why not? According to Wikipedia, Annabel Lee is now in the public domain. And with your poem, you have made me curious enough to read Poe's original work. I think Mr Poe would be pleased if he knew that his poems are still read and reworked more than 100 years after his death.

    Well done.
    Best wishes,
    For the benefit of other readers:

    I don't know who linked my post for me, maybe it was you. Thank you for doing this. Now I know better how this works.

  16. For "not being a poet" this is first-rate! I remember Poe's poem, and I think you've done a marvelous job making it your own.

  17. Wonderful images. I felt the silvery waves crashing to separate the couple. And the rhythm played well in my mind.

  18. How haunting and sad. Well done, Denise!

  19. Woh, you guys totally amaze me. All I can say is you're all heroes for reading/commenting so positively on my poem.

    Madeleine: Thanks!

    Beverly: Glad you liked that particular line, so did I!

    Heaven: Yeah, it probably is a prose story. Thanks for that link. I'll look it up!

    Andy: Coming from such a great poet, this is encouraging.

    Roland: I hope he would have. Thanks.

    Ruth: Thank you.

    babyrocka: Glad you 'felt' it. That's the aim of poetry isn't it?

    datdreanertoo: Hah, me too, what would I know, LOL.

    Paula: Thanks!

    Francine: Thanks!

    Sarah: You're very generous as always. Thank you.

    Anna: Don't get me wrong. Loved your story. Francine linked it for you. Can't wait to read yours for next week - Confused.

    Glad you took the time to check out Poe's original. I should have linked it but we teachers just expect everyone to know everything, ha ha.

    Often when teaching we use an original work to stimulate the students and yes, Poe is now public domain so look out! Parody is another way people use original works, but I'm not so keen on parody, although Shakespeare parodied his own sonnets.

    Once again, welcome!

    li: Thanks Lisa!

    Marsha: That line just popped into my head and I captured it before it disappeared. Thanks.

    Theresa: Well that's thanks to Poe's original. He knew all about haunting. Thanks Theresa.


  20. Talk about being love lorn. I'm useless at poetry, however, I know this gent is lost without his lady and willing to pass into the next world in the hope of being with her. He's totally in love and yes, you got the voices in there.

  21. Hi Joy. Thanks. Be over to read yours soon. I've been at it all morning and need a little break!


  22. Denise, I loved this piece. A romantic angst wins me over every time!

  23. Glynis: Thank you. Me too!


  24. Beautiful! I could really hear the loss in his voice. Fantastic use of words.

  25. Denise,

    Did you say you are not a poet? You certainly had me there.

    This is captivating and beautiful. Despite his loss, I could also feel his hope in his voice.

    My favourite line is
    'The ocean is chilling yet

    my heart is thrilling

    at the sound of my name on your lips.'

    Veru well written.


  26. That is absolutely wonderful Denise. I love poems about the sea and you nailed it. So fun reading your writing.

  27. Subtle hints of Poe but with the L'Aussie touch. Superb use of repetition, Denise, e.g. "and took you away - away from me"; and rhyme, especially the e's in the first two stanzas: dreams, me, sea; and the repetition of "sea." These tools of poetry effectively set the tone.

    The first stanza is stunning; it's my favorite. And I didn't miss the effective repetition of the exclamation point (!). We're cautioned to use it sparingly so that when we do use it, it's effective as it is here. Used in the first word, it immediately sets the tone: the persona's memories are filled with anguish. In the fourth stanza, you could leave out "I cried" as the sentence above, with the exclamation point, shows what "I cried" tells (if that makes sense).

    This is JUST a very impressive poem! (exclamation point) I like it very much.
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets

  28. Talli: Thank you!

    Kiru: You are very generous. I like that part too. I felt comfortable. Thanks.

    Catherine: You are generous also!

    Ann: Thanks for the critique. I value your opinion as I value your poetry. Looking at it again I see, yes, I could have left out 'I cried' but I felt it sort of fitted the rhythm. I worried about the exclamation points but I wanted to give the sense of him yelling and screaming out loud to his love.



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