given careful consideration H u m a n i t i e s

given careful consideration H u m a n i t i e s

An explication is a literary technique used for the close analysis of a text. It is not a summary of the text, but an insightful commentary that reveals the meanings of a literary work and the ways in which such meanings are constructed. Diction, figures of speech, tone, connotations, points of view, rhythm, line breaks, stanza structure, and other devices contribute to the unique ways in which poems address their subject matter and therefore should be given careful consideration.

Pictures of the short story are attached below

250-300 words


  1. Read the poem several times, until the literal meaning is clear, you have become familiar with all significant details, and are familiar with all the words. Read the poem a few more times, now paying attention to any unusual shifts (in tone, diction, or narrative), as well as to the poem’s particular cadences and form.
  2. Identify the speaker (remembering that he/she is different from the author), the addressee, and the motive behind the poem (i.e., Why is the speaker saying these things?).
  3. What is the setting of and context for the poem? (Has anything been happening when the poem begins? What has provoked the speaker into utterance? What seem to be the speaker’s concerns?)
  4. Try to paraphrase the poem’s argument or movement. Does the poem invite more than one kind of reading?
  5. Are there any literary, cultural, or historical references that enhance, complicate, or hinder your understanding of the poem?
  6. Pay close attention to the opening lines and the closing lines.
  7. Is there an emotional curve on which the poem is strung?
  8. Identify key images and lines and see how they are developed over the course of the poem.
  9. Examine the poem’s diction. Ask what any particular word, phrase, line is doing in the poem. If it’s a good poem, there will be a good answer. Consider some of the choices against other choices the poet could have made.
  10. Always test your expectations (as set up by the poem’s title, initial tone, subject matter, etc.) against what the poem actually does. Do not assign meanings and/or construct interpretations that you can’t support with direct references to the text.
  11. Establish if the poem is written in a traditional/received form and determine its stanzaic structure, rhyme, and meter. Note any variations from its prosodic patterns and wonder about their significance.
  12. If written in free verse, (how) does the poem compensate for those formal gestures found in traditional verse?
  13. Does the poem’s sound reflect (or act out) the situation it describes?
  14. Do content and form seem to reflect, complement, or comment on each other in any other way?
  15. Summarize all interpretative possibilities, as they have emerged from your explication of the poem.
  16. Connect the poem to other literary works that make use of similar themes.

When pertinent, consider the poem’s theme in the context of other current debates about culture, gender, sexuality, racial and ethnic identity, religion, and socio-politics