Poem Activity

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Eldorado

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Poem Activity

Have fun with the poem by trying this...

Eldorado is Spanish for ‘the golden one’ and refers to a mythical city of riches, which in this poem a ‘gallant’ knight searches for his whole life. The word ‘shadow’ features in each stanza of the poem – can you see how it means something different each time? You could use your voice to make the word ‘shadow’ sound darker each time. The other word that is repeated is ‘Eldorado’. Notice the long vowel sounds (e, o, a, o)? Can you use the sound of the word to make sure you don’t rush those last lines of each stanza?
There are two voices in the poem – the knight and the shadow. If you have someone else to read with, split these between you, using your physical presence to convey the idea of the shadow in each verse, thinking about where the shadow speaker stands in relation to the knight, or how it might move about him.

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Gaily bedight,
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow,
Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.

But he grew old—
This knight so bold—
And o’er his heart a shadow—
Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.

And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow—
‘Shadow,’ said he,
‘Where can it be—
This land of Eldorado?’

‘Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow,
Ride, boldly ride,’
The shade replied,—
‘If you seek for Eldorado!’

Eldorado

by Edgar Allen Poe