Annabel Lee

Another two-character play, Annabel Lee, takes place around midnight in the office of Reynolds, an English professor, late forties, and a student, Annabel, in her early twenties.  Lights come up on Reynolds drinking at his desk.. Annabel says she wants to talk with him about her paper on Poe’s poem, ‘Annabel Lee.’  He tells her it’s late and she should go home and write her paper.  She says that she was named after the poem and that the poem was an inspiration for Nabokov when he wrote Lolita.  She talks more about the poem, but Reynolds says he is very tired and doesn’t care what she writes her paper about.  She says she thought the poem might mean a lot to him because his daughter died recently and his wife left him.  She says she thinks the narrator of the poem is unreliable because he feels guilty.  She says that Reynolds is lonely and mentally undresses her in class.  She says Poe died in a drunken stupor raving about looking for somebody named Reynolds, and she thinks Poe was talking to her teacher, telling him that love is stronger than anything.  She says she stopped taking her medication and tells him that she knew his daughter in high school, that she wrote beautiful poetry about him.   Annabel tells Reynolds to forgive his wife for sleeping with someone else and try to love somebody else.  She says he needs what she needs, company, the illusion of contact.  He tells her the angels will kill her if she gets too close to him, but she says, “Until then it is a poem,” and rests her head on his shoulder as the light goes out and we hear the sound of the wind.

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