El Dorado?

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What is the poem all about? Kindly give me the deeper meaning or implication of the poem...

Thank you very much?

-- Anonymous, May 24, 2001


Something to do with the California Gold Rush? I would "guess" , it being a late poem in his career, that it describes his own boisterous quest for a literary career and happiness that is petering out under the shadows of defeat and tragedy. At least the mood bespeaks the grim determination to keep going into the Valley of the Shadow (of Death)beyond which his hope MIGHT reside- but not a very uplifting tone for this life. "Childe Roland(knight) to the dark tower comes"(was that Byron or browning, Browning on Byron I think) has that kind of lonely doomed quest, dark, but hopelessly defiant tone.

What makes this poem unique is how in short space it goes from optimistic, gloriously rhythmic horse riding to disappointment then ghostly doubt and doom. "Ride boldly ride" at that point has a deeply chilling power on many possible levels of reponse, even mocking.

-- Anonymous, May 25, 2001

Personally, I think it's interesting to note the evolution of the word "shadow", as the poem progresses. In the first stanza, the shadow might simply be the green shadows in a sun-dappled forest, beautiful, a welcome respite from the bright sun. In the second stanza, the shadow is a darkening of spirit, a kind of prelude to despair, the fear that the youthful hopes of this gallant knight may have been in vain. In the third stanza, the shadow is some sort of entity, a ghost or "shade" that comes to stand over the aged knight, conversing with him as the life force of our once-fair hero ebbs away. And in the final stanza, the Shadow is the chill touch of death.

"Do you seek El Dorado?" whispers one who presumes to know. "Perfection lies not on this earth, but only in fantasy, or perhaps on the other side of death. Do not shrink from your quest, therefore, but ride, boldly ride. Embrace insanity or release from life! There may you find that which you seek."

-- Anonymous, May 30, 2001

Have anyone notice that Poe wrote this poem in the year he died? The knight in this poem could symbolize Poe himself. His life goal is to have his owl jounrnal, but he never achieved it, just like the knight who never found "El dorado". Although his death is mystery, but I think because of the death of Virgina, his wife and the failure of his goal, he might just want to die, so he began to drink alcohol for days and nights and end he died. I am not sure if I am right, does anyone know which day in 1849 did Poe write "El Dorado", if it's few days before his death, it might prove that I am right. If anyone knows it, please e-mail to me at tang_xiaolu@hotmail.com or ms210girl@yahoo.com.

-- Anonymous, January 30, 2003

I believe that the knight in the poem is dead or dying and that El Dorado is not the supposed City of Gold in Mexico or any search for success. El Dorado is heaven, and the knight in question is going along trying to find a way to get there. The "pilgrim shadow" (possibly Death) finds him and tells him to travel over the mountains of the moon and into the Great Beyond.

-- Anonymous, October 09, 2003

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