Poetry Explication Essay sample outline

Poetry Explication Essay #1: Sample Outline
I. Introduction
A. Attention Getter (question, quotation, fact)
B. Title, author and date or publication if known
C. Clear thesis that names the key elements that will be analyzed in the poem (literary devices,
theme, tone, etc.)
II. Body
A. Meaning and Message
i. Surface Meaning (What’s happening in the poem)
ii. Deeper Meaning (What is the poem really about)
iii. Theme (What is the message of the poem?)
B. Tone
i. Who is speaking?
ii. What is the tone of the speaker about the subject of the poem?
iii. What is your proof? (quotes from the poem)
C. Literary Devices
i. Simile/metaphor/personification etc.
iii. What things are being compared in the similes and metaphors?
iv. Why were they used?
D. Sound Effects
i. alliteration
ii. Rhyme scheme
iii. Why were they used?
E. Symbolism
i. Explain the symbols and what they represent
III. Conclusion
A. Restate your thesis in different words
B. Summarize your main points
C. Relate the poem to broader themes in life. What can we learn from this poem?