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Explicating Poetry
  What It Is and How to Do It
What is Explication?
• Analysis of a poem
• Describes meaning
• Describes relationships of words,
  images, and other part...
Preparing to Write
• Read poem silently, then read it aloud
• Think of it as a dramatic situation, audience
  address
• Id...
The Design
• Identify who, what, when, where, why,
  and how
• Form (sonnet? sestina? free verse?)
• Rhetoric
• Syntax
• V...
Patterns

• Rhetorical patterns
• Rhyme
• Sound patterns
• Visual patterns
• Rhythm and meter
Metrical Terms to Know
 • Meter: recurrence of regular beats

 • Foot: basic unit of meter

 • Iambic (iamb): foot of poet...
Types of Meter
• Monometer: one beat
• Dimeter: two beats
• Trimeter: three beats
• Tetrameter: four beats
• Pentameter: fi...
Scansion


• To “scan” a poem = to determine its
  metrical pattern
Rhythm


• How a line is spoken, e.g. iambic
  pentameter
Writing the Explication
• First paragraph: discuss large issues
  (who, what, when, where, why, how),
  conflicts, dramatic...
Tips

• Refer to the speaker of the poem as “the
  speaker” or “the poet”; the speaker may
  not necessarily be the poet
•...
Good Verbs

 dramatizes      asserts    contrasts    addresses
  presents       posits    juxtaposes   emphasizes
 illustr...
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Poetry Explication

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Introduction to poetry explication.

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Poetry Explication

  1. 1. Explicating Poetry What It Is and How to Do It
  2. 2. What is Explication? • Analysis of a poem • Describes meaning • Describes relationships of words, images, and other parts of a poem • Connects poem’s plot and conflicts with its structure
  3. 3. Preparing to Write • Read poem silently, then read it aloud • Think of it as a dramatic situation, audience address • Identify and describe the voice or voices • Identify and describe conflicts and ideas • Describe language used
  4. 4. The Design • Identify who, what, when, where, why, and how • Form (sonnet? sestina? free verse?) • Rhetoric • Syntax • Vocabulary
  5. 5. Patterns • Rhetorical patterns • Rhyme • Sound patterns • Visual patterns • Rhythm and meter
  6. 6. Metrical Terms to Know • Meter: recurrence of regular beats • Foot: basic unit of meter • Iambic (iamb): foot of poetry with unstressed syllable followed by stressed • Trochaic (trochee): foot of poetry with stressed syllable followed by unstressed • Anapestic (anapest): foot of poetry with two unstressed syllables followed by one stressed • Dactylic (dactyl): foot of poetry with one stressed syllable followed by two stressed
  7. 7. Types of Meter • Monometer: one beat • Dimeter: two beats • Trimeter: three beats • Tetrameter: four beats • Pentameter: five beats • Hexameter: six beats
  8. 8. Scansion • To “scan” a poem = to determine its metrical pattern
  9. 9. Rhythm • How a line is spoken, e.g. iambic pentameter
  10. 10. Writing the Explication • First paragraph: discuss large issues (who, what, when, where, why, how), conflicts, dramatic situation of speaker • Next paragraphs discuss details of form, rhetoric, syntax, vocabulary • The conclusion: sound effects and visual patterns to assert explanation
  11. 11. Tips • Refer to the speaker of the poem as “the speaker” or “the poet”; the speaker may not necessarily be the poet • Use present tense • Avoid uses of the verb “to be”
  12. 12. Good Verbs dramatizes asserts contrasts addresses presents posits juxtaposes emphasizes illustrates enacts suggests stresses characterizes connects implies accentuates underlines portrays shows enables

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