Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Lady of Shalott part 1

I've been reading Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott" with my fourth graders, one part per week. This week, we read Part 3 - the cliffhanger! (They all wanted to know if there was a part 4 - success!) I told them they had to wait until next week. 
My students don't have exposure to rich text, so to help them understand the poem, I show them pictures and define certain words. 
 Here is Part I with images and definitions...
Part I

On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye, 

barley
rye

That clothe the wold and meet the sky; 
wold: a piece of uncultivated land, an area of hilly land in the country
And thro' the field the road runs by
       To many-tower'd Camelot; 
Camelot
The yellow-leaved waterlily
painting of waterlilies by Monet
The green-sheathed daffodilly 
daffodil
Tremble in the water chilly
       Round about Shalott.


Willows whiten, aspens shiver. 
aspens
willow tree

The sunbeam showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers 
imbowers: surrounds or shelters
       The Lady of Shalott.


painting by Waterhouse (1888)
Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early, 
hand-reaping
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,
       O'er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy, 
sheaves: bundles of grain stalks tied together
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ' 'Tis the fairy,
       Lady of Shalott.'


The little isle is all inrail'd
With a rose-fence, and overtrail'd
With roses: by the marge unhail'd 
marge: margin or edge
The shallop flitteth silken sail'd, 
 shallop: a small open boat
flitteth: moves quickly
silken sail'd: with silk sails
       Skimming down to Camelot.
A pearl garland winds her head:
She leaneth on a velvet bed,
Full royally apparelled,
       The Lady of Shalott. 
(All images are in the public domain.)
For part 2, click here. 

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