Poetry Explication and Analysis Essay

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orggfnt

Humanities

Description

I will submit a poem to be analyzed. Please be sure to follow instructions exactly as they say.

  • Length Requirement: 750-1000 words
  • All sources must be cited

Your Process:

Choose one of the poems included in the list of “Poetry Selections” in “Unit 3 Readings and Resources” document.

You will closely read your chosen poem, considering its logic, organization, patterns of figurative language, and other literary elements. Read and reread the poem; by paying attention to the varied features of a poem, you will build an interpretation of the poem’s meaning.

Instructions:

Your essay is not a traditional 5 paragraph essay, but rather will be divided into two parts. These parts do not have to be of equal length.

Part 1: Scansion and Analysis

In the first part, which should be labeled with the heading “Part I: Scansion and Analysis,” you should make a brief, relevant introduction and then begin discussing the structural elements of the poem---its meter, its rhyme scheme, the punctuation, capitalization, and whatever else adds to the structural aspect of the poem.

In this section, you might consider what is significant among the following:

  • Stanzas (how many, what shapes, appearances, what breaks, rhyme scheme, are they all the same?)
  • Lines (lengths, line breaks, enjambment or end-stopped?)
  • Syntax/Diction (Is the poem grammatical? Does it follow English conventions? Why?)
  • Meter/Rhyme (free verse or metrical? How many feet? Is it consistent?)
  • Punctuation (anything unusual? Is it excessive, conventional, or omitted?)
  • Organization (how does the poem progress in time and space? What does it look like on the page?)
  • Form/Mode (is it a special type of poem: ode, dramatic, narrative, sonnet, elegy, or a mixture?)

Part 2: Explication

In the second part, titled “Part II: Explication,” begin explicating the poem. Move through the poem slowly in a logical manner, pointing out any literary devices or elements of interest. In this second part of the essay, you are helping your reader gain an understanding of the poem in terms of its narrative—what’s going on in the poem—and in terms of the poet’s use of poetic devices to convey meaning.

NOTE: Do not fall into the paraphrase trap; that is, do not take your reader line by line just to fill your essay with words. The point of explication is not to retell the poem; instead, you are explicating to point out in the poem those elements that need interpreting or those places within the poem where you find something interesting. Although the goal of explicating is to explain as much about a poem as is necessary, you should explicate reservedly and intelligently.

Here are some questions to consider in this section:

  • What is the poem’s main idea?
  • What larger themes or issues are addressed-- religious, philosophical, political, etc.?
  • What patterns can you find (recurring imagery, repetition, formal and stylistic features)?
  • Are there allusions present to other poetic works, myths, historical/religious figures, etc.?
  • What is the lyric situation? (Why was it written? Who is the speaker/addressee? What is the occasion?)
  • What poetic devices and figurative language does it use? (metaphor, simile, metonymy, synecdoche, symbol, personification, etc.)
  • Why does it use the specific words it does? (consider etymologies, denotations, connotations, and homonyms. Use a dictionary/thesaurus to reinterpret or rethink even common words.)
  • What is its tone? What type of language does it use? (formal informal? Slang? Euphony/cacophony?)

At the end of Part II you should mention the theme(s) of the work as well as what you believe the overall meaning or central message of the poem is.

Source Requirements

You do not need to use any outside sources for this essay, although you might consider using a dictionary, etymologies online, or a thesaurus.

You should plan to include direct quotes from the text and properly cite them in-text using MLA format (for poetry, this will mean line numbers). Here is one example of how to cite a line of poetry in MLA format:
By concluding the poem with the lines “Of all the things that happened there / That’s all that I remember,” Cullen reinforces the tragic and transformative nature of the incident (11-12).
Note that there are spaces before and after the slash that indicates a line break, and the parenthetical citation appears at the end of the full sentence. Punctuation goes inside the quotation marks, and the period goes after the end parenthesis. If you are quoting four or more lines of poetry at once, you will have to reproduce them as a block quote, indented one inch from the left.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

A STEP AWAY FROM THEM It's my lunch hour, so I go for a walk among the hum-colored cabs. First, down the sidewalk where laborers feed their dirty glistening torsos sandwiches and Coca-Cola, with yellow helmets on. They protect them from falling bricks, I guess. Then onto the avenue where skirts are flipping above heels and blow up over grates. The sun is hot, but the cabs stir up the air. I look at bargains in wristwatches. There are cats playing in sawdust. On to Times Square, where the sign blows smoke over my head, and higher the waterfall pours lightly. A Negro stands in a doorway with a toothpick, languorously agitating. A blonde chorus girl clicks: he smiles and rubs his chin. Everything suddenly honks: it is 12:40 of a Thursday. Neon in daylight is a great pleasure, as Edwin Denby would write, as are light bulbs in daylight. I stop for a cheeseburger at JULIET'S CORNER. Giulietta Masina, wife of Federico Fellini, è bell' attrice. And chocolate malted. A lady in foxes on such a day puts her poodle in a cab. There are several Puerto Ricans on the avenue today, which makes it beautiful and warm. First Bunny died, then John Latouche, then Jackson Pollock. But is the earth as full as life was full, of them? And one has eaten and one walks, past the magazines with nudes and the posters for BULLFIGHT and the Manhattan Storage Warehouse, which they'll soon tear down. I used to think they had the Armory Show there. A glass of papaya juice and back to work. My heart is in my pocket, it is Poems by Pierre Reverdy.
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Explanation & Answer

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Name of student
Professor’s name
Course title
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Poetry explication and analysis essay
Part 1: Scansion and analysis
A step away from them is a poem based in New York, a city that is always changing,
shedding its shell and finding new life. It is a city that always seeking the future, characterized
by diversity as can be shown by the mention of a Negro, a blonde and Puerto Ricans. These are
some of the people that live in New York. This poem is made up of five stanzas of varying sizes.
The lines in each stanza are extremely long such that each stanza has 2-3 lines except for the first
stanza which has 5 lines. Due to this, punctuation is used widely specifically commas, question
marks, colons, apostrophes and periods. These punctuations serve the purpose of enabling
clarification and specificity. Besides, the poem does not follow any specific pattern or rhyme
scheme. It is, however, important to note that a rhythm is still achieved through the use of line
breaks due to arrangement and punctuation. For instance “I...


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