Tennyson's not asking in his poem what it means to be an eagle. He is showing it, and the form that he chooses is perfect for the meaning.
Oh, I lingered while reading the article to myself. Maybe I’ll listen to the audio another day.
Reading the other comments I think I understand better what happened to me with today’s offering.
The article prepared me to enter into both poems, and with the first I thought how as a child I sometimes would grasp the flower first and look second. I did look with the poet, fascinated. Reality is stunning and can stir our slumbering minds to recall the author of reality.
But with the second poem, having been prepared again by the commentary, the poem took my breath away. I thought I might comment “breathtaking.” But when I read the comments I realized I had been prepared to react like a five year old. Thank you!
The Eagle was the poem of the week for our homeschool last week! Our 5 and 3 year old were very impressed by my use of their baby sister to expertly reenact the eagle first clinging to the cliffs and then diving to the waves - and she enjoyed it, too. They’re still a little young to learn about intricacies of poetic forms, but they did learn that Tennyson lived in England and was friends with the Queen, who lived in a castle, which did impress them tremendously. baby steps…
"The Eagle" reminded me of the display I once saw accompanying The Book of Kells, on view in the library of Trinity College, Dublin. It explained how the symbols associated with each of the four Evangelists--a Man, a Lamb, a Lion, and an Eagle--dovetailed with the major events in the life of Christ, who was born a Man, sacrificed as a Lamb, arose from the tomb with the roar of a Lion, and soared to heaven like an Eagle.