What is a Close Reading or Explicating a Poem?
To “explicate” comes from a Latin word meaning to unfold.
The purpose of an explication or close reading is to unfold the significance of a poem.
Explication pays close attention to the parts of a poem in order to support a larger argument about its overall impact. For your paper you will want to choose onepoem.
Your essay should reveal how the parts of the poem, like the parts of a tree, relate and form a totality. Ideally, your paper should reveal some of the wonder and excitement that first inspired you to choose this poem.
You should consider the following questions:
Are you able to provide an argument about what the poem means?
Are you able to provide evidence of how the poetic techniques (tone, speaker, figurative language, form, rhythm, etc.) enhances or creates that meaning? Is the evidence effective or is anything important being left out?
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