After reading the sonnet aloud, I would have students break into groups. Each group would write an outline of who they think the poet is talking to.
1)Where is he/she? At home, at a desk putting feelings down on paper?
2)Who are these people?
3)How old are they?
4)Do you think they live far away from each other?
a.Why do you think they live far from each other
b.Why don’t you think they live far from each other?
After the discussion of these questions I would have the students act out their interpretation of this poem.
This is the last of the poems I wish to explore for this unit. It is a rather short poem by Edgar Allan Poe but in his melancholy style. This poem was written in the last year of his life and perhaps it reflects a sense of his impending doom. The poem is one of the little known works of a great writer. Poe considered himself a poet, while the rest of us may not see the body of his poetry as that great I believe this is a great little poem. For one thing, Poe wrote mostly in “first person” but this is one of the few poems he wrote, that is not written like that.
Eldorado tells the tale of a Knight, courageous and bold who traveled long trying to find a place called Eldorado. The poem says he sang a song which I take to mean he had a happy heart. I think that this was a knight, not like of the “Round Table” variety, but more like a soldier of fortune. He searched his whole life long looking for Eldorado but never found it. As he grew old and was about to die he met “A pilgrim Shadow”, who I believe to be “Death”. This shadow told him he would have to look “over the mountains of the moon, down the valley of the shadow”, and that he must “ride, boldly ride”, in order to find this mythical place. Now, where are the “mountains of the moon”? Or the “valley of the shadow”. I don’t believe they exist in the physical plane. One would have to “pass over” into the spiritual plane to reach such a place. I think that’s what the “shade” meant. The knight would have to die in order to “get there from here”. The shadow also told him to Ride, boldly ride, which I take to mean he should approach death as he had approach life—with courage and zeal.
According to Poe Eldorado is a place that does not exist. It is like the Seven Cities of Gold, or the Fountain of Youth. This knight had a life long goal that he never achieved, but was his life a waste? I don’t think so. One may have a fruitful and prosperous life and never attain one’s true goal. This is how I feel about this knight. He had a good life even though he never found Eldorado.