Poetry Explication Essay

Choose (3) poems we have read in the past few weeks and write an essay which includes your explication

(interpretation) of each poem. To do this, you must find connections or similarities which allow you to link the poems together. The following

guidelines will help you plan and envision your essay. Ultimately, this essay will be three pages in length.
The following can serve as a general outline for your explications. You will have to decide what your essay should include or not include. Just

be sure your explication is thorough and organized.
I. Introduction
a. (Include such items as what is the poem title, who is the author, and is the theme or subject of the poems.)
II. Body Paragraphs will include:
Type of poem
(Is it a lyric poem? Is it an ode, haiku, sonnet or some other form you can identify?)
Paraphrases of lines/include direct quotes

Traits and examples/explanations
This is where you discuss alliteration, allusion, metaphor, rhythm, rhyme, etc organize this part in a way that best fits your content. For

instance, you might want to discuss the sound traits first, then go on to the figurative traits such as personification, symbol, metaphor, etc.)
Exploration of Theme
(Propose what the theme is and support/defend your interpretation. The object is to show that you have reached a reasonable conclusion. What

evidence supports your interpretation?)
Evaluation
(Make judgments about the poem. SUGGESTIONS/EXAMPLES: How well did the author do at making his/her point or creating an intended mood or other

impact? Which elements were the strongest or weakest and why? Were some images or metaphors particularly interesting or effective and why? Did

the rhyme scheme contribute to the poem or distract? Etc., etc., etc.)
III. Conclusion/Personal reactions
(SUGGESTIONS/EXAMPLES: What did you like or not like and why? How did you feel after reading the poem? Did it give you a new perspective or was

it trite and why? Did it relate to you, or was it so foreign an idea that it did not seem to pertain to you, and why?)

Links to Help with Poetry Process

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/

Home

Poetry Analysis

Week 1
Introduction

• Review Introduction to Poetry
• Review MLA Formatting Handout
• Elizabeth Bishop “The Fish”
• Carol Ann Davis, “Tips From My Father”’
• Stevie Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning”
Week 2

• Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle…”
• Francis, The Pitcher, Brooks, We Real Cool
• A.E. Housman “To an Athlete Dying Young”
• Bob Dylan “Tangled Up in Blue”
Week 3

• Read about Gender/Feminist Criticism from Handout
• Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll”
• Edna St. Vincent Millay, “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed”
• Sylvia Plath, “Metaphors” and “Daddy”
Week 4

• Read about Supporting the Point: Analysis of Criticism/Evaluating Evidence Handout
• Read about Imagery and Symbolism Handout
• William Wordsworth, “The World is too Much With Us”
• William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
• Claude McKay, “America”
• Essay #1 Due 3/13
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