Connected Learning Content-Area Literacy Teaching Writing

Reading, Writing & Creating with the Eclipse in Mind

Ohio Writing Project and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park


The resources below are inspired by poet Paul Dunbar’s “The Madrigal” and the 2024 solar eclipse. Created by the Ohio Writing Project and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park, they provide numerous avenues to explore the intersections of writing, science, and history.


Dream days of fond delight and hours
As rosy-hued as dawn, are mine.
Love’s drowsy wine,
Brewed from the heart of Passion flowers,
Flows softly o’er my lips
And save thee, all the world is in eclipse.
There were no light if thou wert not;
The sun would be too sad to shine,
And all the line
Of hours from dawn would be a blot;
And Night would haunt the skies,
An unlaid ghost with staring dark-ringed eyes.
Oh, love, if thou wert not my love,
And I perchance not thine—what then?
Could gift of men
Or favor of the God above,
Plant aught in this bare heart
Or teach this tongue the singer’s soulful art?
Ah, no! ‘Tis love, and love alone
That spurs my soul so surely on;
Turns night to dawn,
And thorns to roses fairest blown;
And winter drear to spring—
Oh, were it not for love I could not sing!
—Paul Laurence Dunbar

The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park, located in Dayton Ohio, celebrates the dual history of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Wright Brothers. As classmates, Paul and Orville wrote in their botany sketchbooks and the Wright Brothers printed Dunbar’s first newspaper. Like the intersection of their friendship, the solar eclipse provides an intersection of writing and science. During his career, Dunbar wrote “A Madrigal” featuring the line, “all the world is in eclipse.”

In this video, Ohio Writing Project director Beth Rimer invites us all to join in the fun and gives a walk-through of the set of resources gathered here:

Reading with the Eclipse in Mind

  • Solar Eclipse Mini-Research Text Set (PDF): Engage with an image and then conduct short research around questions.
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “A Madrigal”: Follow this teacher’s short explication of Dunbar’s “A Madrigal” and then write or add your own analysis.

Writing with the Eclipse in Mind

Creating with the Eclipse in Mind

More Related Resources

This post is part of the Poetry-powered Prompts for Writing Outside collection.