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Explication

November 22, 2011

An explication (literally an “unfolding”) is another way to examine a poem.  Different than a paraphrase, an explication focuses on explaining an entire poem by looking carefully at the details.

An explication may include some paraphrasing, but, for the most part, it shows how each part of a poem contributes to the whole.

You should start with the title, then the first line and work straight through to the end.  Explain each line in detail—focus on word choice, imagery, alliteration, rhyme, similes, metaphor, tone etc…  You can choose which details you think are meaningful and then show how all of these “parts” contribute to the poem’s meaning as a whole.

At the end of the explication, you should make some statement about how all of the details create meaning.  Now that you have highlighted all the parts, what whole do they make?

Review my sample of an explication of “My Papa’s Waltz,” as well as the sample on page 511 in the new book or 598 in the old one.

 Length:                  2-3 pages

Rough draft/very detailed outline due Monday 11/28

We will do a little writing workshop/peer editing on Monday.  If you don’t have anything to share, you will not be able to participate!

Final draft due Wednesday 11/30

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