Explication

looking closely at a poem for the message it convey and how this message is revealed.

somethings to look for:

Theme- what is the poem discussing? what does it have about this topic? what does the narrator say about it? who is narrating might also be a clue. ( a window who lost her husband to war, example)

language- what kind of vocabulary is used? do certain words appear more than once? if it rhymes, what are the words that match each other? what kinds figurative language appear? does all the imagery deal with a particular mood or color or natural element?

setting- not all poems have clear physical setting. if it does have one, where is it? is the person sitting on a bus or napping at home? is it in the middle of a poker game or someone is talking as he or she walks down the street? what seems to be the time period? time of the day? inside somewhere? Public or private?

other things to consider are the title- what is the first impression it gives? what will the poem be accordint to the title? initial reaction of the reader- resounding agreement or vehement denial? confusion over what is happening? does it refer to people or events that the reader might know? some research outside the poem might be require

MLA format, 2 full page, ballad of birmingham by dudley randall

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