Answered By: James Whitmer
Last Updated: Jun 19, 2020     Views: 17

Please Note: These are only common assumptions and suggestions about writing a poetry explication. The requirements of such assignments often vary, so please follow your instructor's guidelines. 

A poetry explication analyzes a poem in-depth by explaining, line by line, how each poetic element contributes to the overarching theme, message, and/or emotions of the poem. Therefore, depending on the complexity of the poem, a body paragraph of an explication might cover just one line or an entire stanza's worth of content. Regardless, the best way to prepare for writing an explication is to do a thorough markup, or scansion, of the poem by identifying all of its stressed and unstressed syllables, meters, figures of speech, rhyme schemes, disruptions of patterns, and more. After that, you must carefully consider how and why every identified element helps convey the poem's theme, message, and/or emotions to the reader. From there, your body paragraphs will generally revolve around this structure:

  1. Make a claim about how certain elements contribute to the overall effect of the poem
  2. Provide examples and evidence
  3. Explain how the examples and evidence you provide support your claim

For more support on how to write a poetry explication, please see the following link: