Poetry Essay Assignment
What is explication? Explication is the unraveling of a poem (or story or play), basically explaining the poem word by word, line by line, or stanza by stanza. In unfolding the poem, you should examine any literary devices you see such as simile and metaphor, allusion, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, onomatopoeia, form (if applicable), and other techniques. How do these all contribute to the overall message (theme) of the poem? You do not have to mention all the literary devices you see in your essay, but you might point out one or two. For example, you might point out that rhythm is an important element in the poem. Then discuss how the rhythm is related to or helps support the theme of the poem. Or you might choose to say the poet supports the theme (insert what you think the theme is) with the use of imagery. You might simply choose to focus on the theme and then use lines from the poem to back up your interpretation of the theme.
Essentially, you will answer the question, “What is the theme of the poem?” You must make clear what the poem’s theme is directly in your introduction. In the body of your essay, you will show how the poet uses specificelements to help to get that theme across. For all parts of your argument, support your interpretation with specific textual examples. The ideas you express will be unique to your understanding of the poem and will reflect an extension of the discussions we had online.
• Read the poem I have provided “The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman. Pre-write to discover what you believe is the poem’s most significant meaning and the ways in which that meaning is conveyed (which you will likely discover are generally inseparable). This meaning will be your essay’s thesis statement.
• Develop a strong, clear thesis statement that articulates the message in the poem. Your thesis statement should answer this question: What is this poem about? Your essay should then support that thesis.
• Explain your ideas about the poem/s in a well-organized essay. Compose body paragraphs that effectively support your interpretation of the poem/s and explain
how the poem/s conveys this message.
Quote or paraphrase the poem/s, your primary source, to support your thesis, and correctly integrate your quotes. List your poem on a Works Cited page and format your paper according to MLA style