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Poetry Explication. A poetry explication is a relatively short analysis which describes the possible meaning of the poem. Your explication will be paper on what you think the poem means and a point by point analysis of how you arrived at that particular conclusion.

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Poetry explication
Poetry Explication

  • A poetry explication is a relatively short analysis which describes the possible meaning of the poem. Your explication will be paper on what you think the poem means and a point by point analysis of how you arrived at that particular conclusion.


Preparing to write the explication
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Read the poem silently, then read it aloud. repeat as necessary.

  • Consider the poem as a dramatic situation in which a speaker addresses an audience or another character. In this way, begin your analysis by identifying and describing the speaking voice or voices, the conflicts or ideas, and the language used in the poem.


Preparing to write the explication1
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Determine the basic design of the poem by considering the who, what ,when, where, and why of the dramatic situation.


Preparing to write the explication2
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Whatis being dramatized? What conflicts or themes does the poem present, address, or question?


Preparing to write the explication3
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Who is the speaker? Define and describe the speaker and his/her voice. What does the speaker say? Who is the audience? Are other characters involved?


Preparing to write the explication4
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • When does the action occur? What is the date and/or time of day?


Preparing to write the explication5
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Where is the speaker? Describe the physical location of the dramatic moment?


Preparing to write the explication6
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Whydoes the speaker feel compelled to speak at this moment? What is his/her motivation?


Writing the explication the first paragraph
Writing the Explication The First Paragraph

An explication begins with an introduction indicating the title of the poem, the poet and the main idea of the work. It must also suggest the direction of the explication. Your main point of your explication will be your take on the poem’s meaning.

The first paragraph should present the large issues, it should inform the reader which conflicts are dramatized and should describe the dramatic situation of the speaker.


Writing the explication the body paragraphs
Writing the ExplicationThe Body Paragraphs

  • The next paragraphs should expand the discussion of the conflict by focusing on details of form, rhetoric, syntax, and vocabulary. In these paragraphs, the writer should explain the poem line by line.


Writing the explication the body paragraphs1
Writing the ExplicationThe Body Paragraphs

Discuss the diction in the poem. Point out words that are particularly well chosen and explain why.

Diction

Dialect

Word Order


Writing the explication the body paragraphs2
Writing the ExplicationThe Body Paragraphs

  • Point out and explain any symbols, allegories or allusions

  • Point out any examples of figures of speech and explain their impact.

    Metaphor, Simile, Personification, Hyperbole


Writing the explication the body paragraphs3
Writing the ExplicationThe Body Paragraphs

  • Discuss the imagery of the poem. What kinds of imagery are used?

  • Point out and explain examples of irony.

  • Discuss the adaptation of sound. Does the poem use alliteration, assonance, or rhyme. Point our significant examples of sound repetition and explain their impact or function.

  • How does the poem look on the page?


Writing the explication the conclusion
Writing the ExplicationThe Conclusion

  • The explication has no formal concluding paragraph; do not simply restate the main points of the introduction! The end of the explication should focus on sound effects or visual patterns as the final element of asserting an explanation. The writer may choose to simply stop writing when he or she reaches the end of the poem.


Tips to keep in mind
Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Refer to the speaking voice in the poem as “the speaker” For example, do not write, “In this poem, Wordsworth says that London is beautiful in the morning.” However, you can write, “In this poem, Wordsworth presents a speaker who…” We cannot absolutely identify Wordsworth with the speaker of the poem, so it is more accurate to talk about “the speaker” or “the poet” in an explication.


Tips to keep in mind1
Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Use the present tense when writing the explication. The poem, as a work of literature, continues to exist!

  • To avoid unnecessary uses the verb “to be” in your compositions.


The following list suggests some verbs you can use when writing the explication
The following list suggests some verbs you can use when writing the explication:

dramatizes contrasts accentuates

presents juxtaposes

illustrates enables

characterizes suggests

underlines implies

asserts shows

enacts addresses

connects emphasizes

portrays stresses


Preparing to write the explication7
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Where is the speaker? Describe the physical location of the dramatic moment.


Preparing to write the explication8
Preparing to Write the Explication

  • Why does the speaker fell compelled to speak at this moment? What is his/her motivation?


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