Elizabeth Bishop “The Fish”
Carol Ann Davis, “Tips From My Father”’
Stevie Smith, “Not Waving but Drowning”
Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle…”
E. Housman “To an Athlete Dying Young”
Bob Dylan “Tangled Up in Blue”
Marge Piercy, “Barbie Doll”
Edna St. Vincent Millay, “What Lips My Lips Have Kissed”
Sylvia Plath, “Metaphors” and “Daddy”
William Wordsworth, “The World is too Much With Us”
William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”
Claude McKay, “America”
Poetry Explication Essay: Choose (3) poems from the list and write an essay which includes your explication (interpretation) of each poem. To do this, you must find connections or similarities which allow you to link the poems together. The following guidelines will help you plan and envision your essay. Ultimately, this essay will be three pages in length.
The following can serve as a general outline for your explications. You will have to decide what your essay should include or not include. Just be sure your explication is thorough and organized.
(Include such items as what is the poem title, who is the author, and is the theme or subject of the poems.)
Body Paragraphs will include:
Type of poem
(Is it a lyric poem? Is it an ode, haiku, sonnet or some other form you can identify?)
Paraphrases of lines/include direct quotes
Traits and examples/explanations
This is where you discuss alliteration, allusion, metaphor, rhythm, rhyme, etc organize this part in a way that best fits your content. For instance, you might want to discuss the sound traits first, then go on to the figurative traits such as personification, symbol, metaphor, etc.)
Exploration of Theme
(Propose what the theme is and support/defend your interpretation. The object is to show that you have reached a reasonable conclusion. What evidence supports your interpretation?)
(Make judgments about the poem. SUGGESTIONS/EXAMPLES: How well did the author do at making his/her point or creating an intended mood or other impact? Which elements were the strongest or weakest and why? Were some images or metaphors particularly interesting or effective and why? Did the rhyme scheme contribute to the poem or distract? Etc., etc., etc.)
(SUGGESTIONS/EXAMPLES: What did you like or not like and why? How did you feel after reading the poem? Did it give you a new perspective or was it trite and why? Did it relate to you, or was it so foreign an idea that it did not seem to pertain to you, and why?)
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