What is a Poetry Explication?
A poetry explication is a short analysis which describes the possible meanings and relationships of the words, images, and literary devices that make up a poem.
Learning Objective: Connect a poem’s big ideas with its structural features (the pieces used to build the poem such as literary devices.).
Step 1: Annotate your poem. (analyze the pieces of the poem)
Step 2: Fill in your Explication Worksheet.
Step 3: Write a 2 paragraph explication of your poem following the below outline.
When writing your explication . . .
- Use “the speaker” and / or “the poet,” not the author’s name.
- Quote from your poem as you analyze it. (e.g. In the line “I hurt myself today,” the speaker suggests that ….)
- Use formal language (no “I”)
- Use strong verbs (e.g. dramatizes, emphasizes, illustrates, implies, etc.)
i. The speaker states that . . .
ii. The next line dramatizes . . .
iii. The use of the word “ . . .” illustrates . . .
iv. The metaphor “ . . .” implies . . .