Poetry Explications

This Poetry Explications website also includes:

Explication may sound like a fancy word, but it's just a fancy way to say analysis. Using a handout on poetry explications, part of a larger series on specific writing assignments, writers learn how to break down and analyze a poem. The handout covers a broader examination of a poem's form, rhetoric, and syntax, while also looking more closely at elements such as patterns of rhythm and meter. It even includes information on the four most common metrical feet in English poetry.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Place multiple large copies of a poem around the room and have learners walk around and mark up the poem, focusing on a different element (form, vocabulary, etc.) at each copy
  • Model how to scan and annotate a poem, and then conduct a think aloud while writing a short analysis
Classroom Considerations
  • Assumes learners know basic poetic devices such as alliteration and assonance
  • Provides a sample poem and explication
  • Shares key questions to ask when reading a poem
  • Would benefit from a list of contents to help find information
Common Core