It's amazing what you bring with you from high school. Some people bring algebraic knowledge, favorite classic novels or knowledge of every Starbucks drink on the menu. However, as for me, I brought my love of poetry with me everywhere I go.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Little 14-year-old Matthew Denney sitting in honors ninth grade English, knowing basically nothing of novels, short stories or how to analyze them. Nothing really made sense to me in the English world, until we read a little poem entitled "Annabel Lee."
When I first read the line, "But we loved with a love that was more than love — I and my Annabel Lee." I remember feeling differently about this poem, for once, when I read something, I actually felt for the speaker of the poem. It all just made sense to me.
But I wanted to learn more from it. I researched Edgar Allan Poe's life down to a tee. I watched hours of documentaries and theories about him, and even more analysis papers trying to figure out Annabel Lee. To Edgar Allan Poe, everything truly meant something to him.
It seemed like he wouldn't write down a word if it didn't have a deeper meaning. He wrote beautiful pieces of poetry about his life, his art, his deep feelings and his wife.
As I looked more into his life, poetry and stories, I began to find myself crying for Edgar Allan Poe. This was just me as a freshman in high school.
I even had a conversation with my English teacher about Edgar Allan Poe, and how interesting I found his work, and she was astounded by how much I loved and understood Poe.
Senior year of high school, that same English teacher started a "Edgar Allan Poe/Alfred Hitchcock" class and even signed me up personally for her class, which unfortunately I couldn't take, which I tremendously regret.
Fast forward to freshman year of college, where I barely knew anyone and found myself feeling very lonely, depressed and introverted, which was very unlike me.
But I reread "Annabel Lee" and rediscovered my love for poetry. Eventually, I discovered more poets such as Pablo Neruda, Shel Silverstein and Shakespeare's sonnets. I found myself falling in love with Romanticism poetry, and I made the decision to start my own poetry website.
All of the loneliness and depressive feelings now had an outlet to go to. I put all of my effort into that website, only allowing myself to see my work, and eventually my family and friends, and I allowed it to be public.
Since I have started the website last year, I have declared a minor in English education, and I have signed up for a Shakespeare Tragedies and Histories class, which is the class I am most excited for next semester.
But I will never forget, it all started with "I and my Annabel Lee."