|Writing Projects » Key Words » Explicate » Try Your Hand|
|Step 1: Read the following poem carefully
a few times. It is written by Kimiko Hahn, a poet and a professor
of poetry writing and literature at Queens College.
The Swimmer's Blood
— From The Unbearable Heart ©1996 by Kimiko Hahn
Asking questions, and answering them, is one of the best ways in to the experience of a poem. Below are some questions to get you started in explicating this poem. You can read the poem again at any time while you work by clicking on "see the poem".
Step 2: You might begin by asking some obvious questions about the situation in the poem: Where does the poem take place? What scene does it describe? What's happening in the scene?
Step 3: Who is speaking? How would you describe her? What sort of tone of voice might you use if you read the poem out loud? (see the poem)
Step 4: Why do you think the poem is called "The Swimmer's Blood"? How does the title relate to the overall meaning of the poem? (see the poem)
Here, we've looked at just a few questions you might ask yourself while writing an explication, but there are many other things to look for when explicating a work of literature.
Have you received an assignment that asks you to explicate something? Do Your Own is a section that can help you get started.
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