For this essay assignment, you will write an explication of one of the poems in the “Poetry of Nature” segment. Make sure you carefully read the lecture “Explicating Poetry” from the UNC Writing Center, which is included in this unit. Select one poem from the “Poetry of Nature” segment for your essay. You may select one of the poems you used for your discussion post, but you must generate new material for the essay.
Study your selected poem line by line, observing its elements and development. Explicate the selected poem, giving full attention, in this order (and as outlined on the lecture on explication) to:
The large issues of design of the poem (the “who, what, when, where, why” of the dramatic situation)
The individual parts of the design which include, form, rhetoric, syntax and vocabulary (and other specific parts you may notice and wish to discuss).
The poem’s patterns, including rhyme, patterns of sound, visual patterns, and rhythm and meter.
Your finished essay should be approximately 750 to 1000 words long. Include textual evidence and cite it using MLA style conventions.
Read the lecture on “Close Reading and Poetry Explication” to get a feel for a formal explication. You should not limit yourself to the compositional choices, voice, tone, diction or style of the author of the sample.
This assignment has two separate phases, both of which are completed for a grade. During the first phase, you compose a rough draft for your paper and submit it to the Peer Review Workshop discussion topic, where you will give and receive feedback from your peers. During the second phase, you revise your draft and submit it for a grade in the appropriate assignments folder.
The rough draft should be a true attempt at the essay. Therefore, the instructions for the essay are presented first on this page. After you have read and understood these instructions, read the instructions for the Peer Review process, which are presented on the page following this one.
100 possible points
All poems in the “Poetry of Nature” Segment
All poetry lectures in this unit,
The “Writing About Poetry” chapter in Unit 1
This assignment will focus on skills necessary to compose a formal poetry explication.
Learning Outcome(s) Addressed:
Produce a written explication of a poem
Document the use of poetry in M.L.A. style
This assignment will focus on skills necessary to interpret poetry. You will practice:
Identifying similarities and differences of poems on a broadly shared theme.
Observing the design of a poem.
Identifying and discussing the major elements of poetry within the context of a specific poem.
Choosing specific textual evidence and citing it within a discussion.
Use of M.L.A. style format and conventions.
The skills necessary to the explication of poetry are transferable to other critical thinking tasks and opportunities that you will use in the future. These include observation, inference, explanation, application of standards, discriminating, information-seeking, logical reasoning, analysis, interpretation, and development of aesthetic sensibilities.
To complete this assignment, you should:
Read all assigned poems.
Read all poetry lectures.
Select a single poem from the Poems of Nature module to explicate.
Study the poem line by line, observing its elements and development.
Write your explication, following the instructions in this assignment
Use M.L.A. Format and conventions
Post your rough draft to the Explication Peer Review Workshop before submitting the final copy
Give and receive feedback
Revise your draft
Submit your explication for a grade
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