For this paper, you will be writing an explication of a poem 5 – 8 paragraphs. You may choose any of the poems we have read in this unit. A poetry explication is an explanation of what you believe the message of the poem is. Because you will be explaining your own personal interpretation of the poem, you will need to gather some evidence to support your ideas about the poem. The goal of an explication is to "illuminate" the meaning of the poem for other readers. First of all READ the poem. Read it several times. Read it aloud. Notice the way it looks on the page, the way the words sound when you read them aloud, and anything the words make you think about. You will probably have to look some words up in the dictionary—remember that the definition you know might not be the ONLY definition there is. Once you feel like you have formed some good initial ideas about the poem, you can begin to really examine the tools (literary devices) that the poet used to create the poem. Answer the following questions using your answers as a rough draft for your paper.
- What does the title contribute to the reader's understanding?
- Who is speaking? What is the situation?
- What difficult, special, unusual words does the poem contain?
- What references need explaining?
- How does the poem develop? Personal statement or a story?
- What is the main idea of the poem?
- What kind of figurative language is the poem using? What about symbolism or literary allusions
- “I Am Offering This Poem” by Jimmy Santiago Baca
- I am offering this poem to you,
- since I have nothing else to give.
- Keep it like a warm coat when winter comes to cover you,
- 5 or like a pair of thick socks the cold cannot bite through,
- I love you,
- I have nothing else to give you,
- so it is a pot full of yellow corn 10
- to warm your belly in winter,
- it is a scarf for your head,
- to wear over your hair, to tie up around your face,
- I love you,
- Keep it, treasure this as you would
- 15 if you were lost, needing direction,
- in the wilderness life becomes when mature;
- and in the corner of your drawer,
- tucked away like a cabin or hogan
- in dense trees, come knocking,
- 20 and I will answer, give you directions,
- and let you warm yourself by this fire, rest by this fire,
- and make you feel safe,
- I love you,
- It’s all I have to give,
- 25 and all anyone needs to live,
- and to go on living inside,
- when the world outside
- no longer cares if you live or die;
- I love you
In an organized, well developed report 3 – 5 typed pages, compare Julius Caesar with one of the following assassinated leaders:
Czar Nicholas II of Russia
Pages 1028-1030 in your textbook provide an example of a research report. Page 1031 provides the rubric that will be used for assessment.
18. Write an analytic response to a favorite piece of literature. Analyze a poem, a play, or a story. Use the Writing Workshop worksheet and the Scoring Rubric below to help you prepare and organize your essay.