CSM The Transient Nature of Life in Nothing Gold Can Stay Essay

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College of San Mateo



The goals of this assignment are

to give you an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the unique ways poetry uses language to express themes

to give you one more instance to show your growth as a writer and critical thinker  

  1. This essay will be an in-depth explication of one of the poems listed at the end of this assignment. As Kennedy and Gioia state, in an explication “a writer explains an entire poem in detail, unraveling its complexities” (1824). An explication may be thought of as an argument about what is going on in the poem, how it is making its purpose known to the reader, as the poem moves along.  (Explication literally means “unfolding”, so think of how deeper meaning is unfolded to readers as they read).  Please note: EXPLICATION IS NOT A LINE BY LINE PARAPHRASE, but seeks to make explicit a poem’s deeper meaning, theme, message, lesson, etc., by calling attention, as it proceeds, to the denotations or connotations of words, the function of structure, rhythm or rhymes (if any), the development of contrasts, the use of irony, simile, metaphor, and any other contributions to meaning.
  2. Even though you are dealing with a relatively short poem, you will probably find that some lines prove your point better than others, and you may need to cover briefly (or skip entirely) the less important ones.  Also, it’s fine to describe a later line before an earlier one if that seems the best way of handling the explication.

Structuring Your Essay

Your introduction should include the title of the poem (in quotation marks) and the name of the poet. You may want to mention the form of the poem here, or save that for later. Your introduction should  include your thesis, which should express what you understand, after careful analysis, to be the poem’s overall meaning, purpose, theme, etc.

Your essay’s body paragraphs should develop the message you claim the poem unfolds as it progresses. Divide the poem into several segments; then write a paragraph about each segment.  Be sure you make clear to your readers how each segment contributes to what you have said is the meaning, etc. of the poem. 

Although your explication will for the most part move steadily from the beginning to the end of the poem, try to avoid transitions along these lines: “In line one…, In the second line…, In the third line…, etc.”  Instead, use transitions such as “The poem begins…, In the next line…, The speaker adds…, She then introduces…, The next stanza begins with the words….” This will sound more polished and better help guide your readers through the poem.

Things to Remember

Your essay’s title may include the title of the poem, but should not be the title of the poem.

  • Avoid second person pronouns (you/your), slang, and overly-casual expressions.

Remember to refer to “the speaker in the poem” rather than the poet, since, like narrators, they are not always the same person, even if it’s a first person speaker.

Remember to write about the poem in present tense.

Use varied sentence structures.

  • Proofread carefully.
  • Please follow exactly the directions for quoting from poems on pp. 1833-35 of your textbook. When quoting poetry, use line numbers, not page numbers, in the body of your essay. Page numbers where the poem is found are used only on your Work Cited page.

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Explanation & Answer

View attached explanation and answer. Let me know if you have any questions.Greetings Buddy, Hope you are doing well; 😉Here are the two tasks;Please check them out and let me know incase of any issueCheers 😄

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The Transient Nature of Life in Nothing Gold Can Stay
The poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” by Robert Frost, postulates how nature keeps
transforming every coming season. The speaker’s use of literary devices such as imagery, allusion,
symbolism, metaphors, and personification enable the reader to understand the inevitable
transformations that come with the passing of time. He further uses contrasting diction to
emphasize this message in the entire poem. The main theme in the poem is the transient nature of
life and how the momentary nature of beauty is part of what makes it beautiful.

As the poem begins, the speaker starts with a modest statement but one that is laden with
imagery and symbolism. The speaker commences by asserting that “Nature’s first green is gold”
(Line 1). The given claim is a likely reference to the spring season. He is referring to the generally
accepted splendor of the first sprouts of green that shoot up after a long winter and he likens the
worth of that beauty to be as valuable as gold. It is worth noting that the initial beauty of spring is
a transitory beau...

Awesome! Perfect study aid.


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