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A TOTAL OF 2
  
The Assignment: 
· Choose two (2) poems from the poetry selections by Emily Dickinson located in this module.
· Write an un-researched explication of each poem (two total).
· Explications should be 1½ –2 pages each.
· Follow the Style Rules/Guidelines and MLA documentation for appropriate formatting 
About Explication:
What is explication? Explication is the unraveling of a poem (or story or play), basically explaining the poem word by word, line by line, or stanza by stanza. In unfolding the poem, you should address any literary devices you see: simile and metaphor, allusion, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, onomatopoeia, form (if applicable), and other techniques. How do these all contribute to the overall message of the poem? 
An explication is a way for you to slow down and focus on the detail. Often, a poem that you find confusing will make sense once you take some time to examine it piece by piece. The fist place to begin, always, is the title. What do you expect from the title? Does the poem deliver this? How? If it surprises you, why might the author have chosen this title? Or, is the title ironic, and if so, how does irony change the meaning of the poem? These are just a few questions you might ask yourself. 
If you use any secondary sources, including biographical material, you must cite them according to MLA and include a Works Cited page. However, you will not use any secondary sources in this paper.
 
Introduction: Include title (in quotation marks), author, dates, brief background of the author if necessary and relevant, a brief summary of the plot (situation), or literal level of the poem, and your thesis, which probably will mention two or three techniques the poet uses to convey his/her argument (theme). The thesis will include what you believe to be that argument.
Body Paragraphs: Systematically go through the poem showing the techniques stated in your thesis and showing how they relate to the poet’s argument. Brief quotes should be incorporated into your sentences to clarify your point. Do not, under any circumstance, quote the entire poem within the paper. If you quote three or fewer lines, an inline quote, you should introduce the quote with a signal phrase, and then quote the section of the poem, indicating line breaks with a “/” and stanza breaks with a “//”. To quote more than three lines, use a block quote. In either case, follow the quote with a parenthetical reference of the line number(s). And then, make sure that you follow the quote with an analysis of the quote. 
Conclusion: Here you pull the paper together and reaffirm your thesis. You could discuss how the poem relates to real life and/or use this paragraph to disagree with the poet’s argument if you wish. But in doing so Do not use first person to argue or agree! All analysis needs to be in third person, objective voice. Thus, instead of saying “I think that Frost ignores the religious aspect…” or “ Frost really relates to my going to the woods, myself…” you would instead say “Frost ignores the religious aspect…” or “Frost’s experience relates to the real experience of visiting the woods…” 
Style: In addition to the usual style suggestions, you should also be very careful about using the word “I” or “me,” as in “I believe” or “It is my opinion.” These are useless phrases that serve only to cast doubt on your argument. Keep your sentences focused on your subject, the poem itself. In addition, as a college-level writing, be sure that your sentence structure is varied and that you take some care, if necessary, to combine short sentences to avoid repetition and make sure that one sentence builds upon the previous ones. Include transitions where appropriate to avoid jumping quickly from one topic to the next. 
Additional Style Tips: While the explication tends to be a chronological progression, consider the organization of the paper. How can you group your observations? This, as any other formal paper, should be a multiple-draft project where your initial observations are organized into main points, and these main points are then focused with a thesis in the intro, with topic sentences in the body paragraphs, and finished with a conclusion. 

  
Suggestions for Writing About the Genre of Poetry
The kinds of question you can usefully ask about a poem depend very much on the individual poem. Here is a list of general questions. Some of them will apply to the poem (or poems) you decide to write about in this course. After carefully reading the poem(s) aloud, you will know which ones are useful to you.
1. WHAT IS THE POEM ABOUT? What is the theme of the poem? Is it similar in subject or theme to other poems you have studied? Could it be compared to/with them?
2. WHO IS THE SPEAKER OF THE POEM? Is the speaker addressing a particular person (auditor)? On what occasion?
3. WHAT IS THE TONE OF THE POEM? Is it consistent or does it change in the course of the poem? 
4. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE LANGUAGE OF THE POEM? Is it figurative or literal? Is the poet using figures of speech? What kinds and to what effect? Does the poem contain images? Can the poem be read in more than one way? 
5. DOES THE POEM CONTAIN RHYMES? If so, what is the rhyme scheme? Are lines end-stopped or enjambed? How does the rhyme serve to emphasize the meaning? The connections between certain words? What other notable features are there about the sound of the poem? 
6. IS THE POEM WRITTEN IN METRE? If so, what metre? Is it regular or irregular? What is its effect? What is the effect of any irregularities? Is there more than one way to scan the poem? What different meanings to these scansions suggest? 
7. DOES THE POEM CONTAIN ANY LITERARY ALLUSIONS? Is it influenced by earlier poems? Can it be compared to other poems you have read by the same poet or different poets? 

Read the following poems by Emily Dickinson: #49, #241, #249, #258, #280, #288, #465, #585, #712, #986,#49

I NEVER lost as much but twice,

And that was in the sod;

Twice have I stood a beggar

Before the door of God!

  

Angels, twice descending,

        5

Reimbursed my store.

Burglar, banker, father,

I am poor once more!

#241

I LIKE a look of agony,

Because I know it’s true;

Men do not sham convulsion,

Nor simulate a throe.

  

The eyes glaze once, and that is death.

        5

Impossible to feign

The beads upon the forehead

By homely anguish strung.

#249

WILD nights! Wild nights!

Were I with thee,

Wild nights should be

Our luxury!

  

Futile the winds

        5

To a heart in port,—

Done with the compass,

Done with the chart.

  

Rowing in Eden!

Ah! the sea!

        10

Might I but moor

To-night in thee!

#258

THERE’S a certain slant of light,

On winter afternoons,

That oppresses, like the weight

Of cathedral tunes.

  

Heavenly hurt it gives us;

        5

We can find no scar,

But internal difference

Where the meanings are.

  

None may teach it anything,

’T is the seal, despair,—

        10

An imperial affliction

Sent us of the air.

  

When it comes, the landscape listens,

Shadows hold their breath;

When it goes, ’t is like the distance

        15

On the look of death.

#280

I FELT a funeral in my brain,

  And mourners, to and fro,

Kept treading, treading, till it seemed

  That sense was breaking through.

  

And when they all were seated,

        5

  A service like a drum

Kept beating, beating, till I thought

  My mind was going numb.

  

And then I heard them lift a box,

  And creak across my soul

        10

With those same boots of lead, again.

  Then space began to toll

  

As all the heavens were a bell,

  And Being but an ear,

And I and silence some strange race,

        15

  Wrecked, solitary, here.

#288

I ’M nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!

They ’d banish us, you know.

  

How dreary to be somebody!

        5

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!

#465

I HEARD a fly buzz when I died;

  The stillness round my form

Was like the stillness in the air

  Between the heaves of storm.

  

The eyes beside had wrung them dry,

        5

  And breaths were gathering sure

For that last onset, when the king

  Be witnessed in his power.

  

I willed my keepsakes, signed away

Poetry Explication Assignment

Due: Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Assignment:

· Choose two (2) poems from the poetry selections by Emily Dickinson located in this module.

· Write an un-researched explication of each poem (two total).

· Explications should be 1½ –2 pages each.

· Follow the Style Rules/Guidelines and MLA documentation for appropriate formatting

About Explication:

What is explication? Explication is the unraveling of a poem (or story or play), basically explaining the poem word by word, line by line, or stanza by stanza. In unfolding the poem, you should address any literary devices you see: simile and metaphor, allusion, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, onomatopoeia, form (if applicable), and other techniques. How do these all contribute to the overall message of the poem?

An explication is a way for you to slow down and focus on the detail. Often, a poem that you find confusing will make sense once you take some time to examine it piece by piece. The fist place to begin, always, is the title. What do you expect from the title? Does the poem deliver this? How? If it surprises you, why might the author have chosen this title? Or, is the title ironic, and if so, how does irony change the meaning of the poem? These are just a few questions you might ask yourself.

If you use any secondary sources, including biographical material, you must cite them according to MLA and include a Works Cited page. However, you will not use any secondary sources in this paper.

 

Introduction: Include title (in quotation marks), author, dates, brief background of the author if necessary and relevant, a brief summary of the plot (situation), or literal level of the poem, and your thesis, which probably will mention two or three techniques the poet uses to convey his/her argument (theme). The thesis will include what you believe to be that argument.

 

Body Paragraphs: Systematically go through the poem showing the techniques stated in your thesis and showing how they relate to the poet’s argument. Brief quotes should be incorporated into your sentences to clarify your point. Do not, under any circumstance, quote the entire poem within the paper. If you quote three or fewer lines, an inline quote, you should introduce the quote with a signal phrase, and then quote the section of the poem, indicating line breaks with a “/” and stanza breaks with a “//”. To quote more than three lines, use a block quote. In either case, follow the quote with a parenthetical reference of the line number(s). And then, make sure that you follow the quote with an analysis of the quote.

 

Conclusion: Here you pull the paper together and reaffirm your thesis. You could discuss how the poem relates to real life and/or use this paragraph to disagree with the poet’s argument if you wish. But in doing so Do not use first person to argue or agree! All analysis needs to be in third person, objective voice. Thus, instead of saying “I think that Frost igHere is an example of an explication.
Below is a short poem by Robert Frost and an explication based on its content.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
1Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Explication of “The Road Not Taken.”

      The poem titled “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about a man reflecting on a choice he once made. While the outcome of this choice is not implied to be positive or negative the speaker notes that the choice in itself and the consequences of that choice have made a huge difference in the way his life has unfolded.
       The poem is about the importance of choices. The poem begins with the speaker regretting that he could not have been two people so he could have at some point in his life taken two roads instead of being confined to one. He looked as far as he could to see what was ahead on one of the roads he could have taken, but he was limited to seeing only as far as where it turned and disappeared in the bushes. In the second stanza he says he took the other road because it was grassy and was possibly better because it was less traveled, though not much more than the other road. The third stanza says both roads were covered in leaves that had been walked on infrequently, to the extent that the leaves covering them had not been made black from tramping feet. He also says he continued on the road he chose, and because he knew that one thing leads to another (“way leads on to way”) he doubted he would ever return to this part of the road. Finally, he says he will tell the story when he is much older (“Somewhere ages and ages hence”) that he had the choice of taking one road over another, and having taken the one he did made a big difference in his life.
        Adding to development of the theme is the element of color. It is a yellow wood, not green, which suggests the fall season when leaves turn colors. Seasons are frequently associated with periods in people’s lives, such as spring for youth, and autumn for late middle age. So this is the “fall” of his life, or possibly around middle age. Therefore, he is a speaker who has had enough experiences to realize how important some decisions can be and that he must live with the consequences. The speaker also notes the leaves are not “trodden black” which would represent heavy traffi

  
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