Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Poetry Teatime: Exploring "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe

 Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."

As with all our poetry teatimes (inspired by Brave Writer), our goal is total immersion into the beauty, cadence, and joy of poetry. 

If the mood so strikes, we discuss tone or imagery or some other academic staple, but really my main objective is to form an emotional attachment and relationship to poetry. 

We have many years ahead to analyze poetry, and by my estimation, Aidyn would probably not have heard of Poe until 7th grade had he been in the public school system, but after today, he's an instant fan! 

Reading Poe's dark and spooky poem, "The Raven," was on my big homeschool-Halloween-season bucket list. Following writing class, I assembled a quick and easy snack, warm beverages, and Halloween-themed Hostess cupcakes. 

I lit several pumpkin-scented candles on a creepy Halloween tree, gathered the troops, and read aloud.

 Although I'm sure much of the Poe vernacular flew over both Aidyn's and Jack's heads, the haunting melody captured their attention. Aidyn's eyes grew wide, and he gave a quick little jump every time I tapped on the table to echo the raven's gentle rapping.

Afterward, Aidyn insisted we somehow watch "The Raven," so I dug up a short theatrical version.

Creepily enough, my computer completely froze as we were watching this video, and it made a weird whirring sound as it was paused on the portrait of the deceased Lenore.

Aidyn copied his favorite quote from the poem while we listened to Christopher Lee read "The Raven."

 Aidyn looks sleepy from the hot chocolate and haunting poem.

 Following a rabbit trail, we searched for related videos on YouTube and found several animations and interpretations of the famous poem.

Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven" by Aaron Quinn:

Aidyn was thrilled to find a Minecraft-inspired version of "The Raven."

"The Raven" in Minecraft:

 We happily watched about a half dozen various interpretations.

Peabody's Improbable History- Edgar Allen Poe:

Bullwinkle's Corner- "The Raven":

 We even watched a Simpsons version of the poem.

Mojo's Top 10 Notes: "The Raven":

I had no idea we would dig this deep into "The Raven," but one of the many joys of homeschooling is the ability to meander along with a topic, uncovering every curiosity. We happily canceled all other school plans to follow this trail, and I love that now Aidyn (and Jack!) experienced quite a fun and spooky introduction to one of the greatest poets of all time. We're sure to visit his other works soon!

I love homeschooling!


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