Poem Explication Assignment

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Poem Explication Assignment
Sonnet 42
The spring returns, the spring wind softly blowing
Sprinkles the grass with gleam and glitter of showers,
Powdering pearl and diamond, dripping with flowers,
Dropping wet flowers, dancing the winter's going;
The swallow twitters, the groves of midnight are glowing
With nightingale music and madness; the sweet fierce powers
Of love flame up through the earth; the seed-soul towers
And trembles; nature is filled to overflowing. . .
The spring returns, but there is no returning
Of spring for me. O heart with anguish burning!
She that unlocked all April in a breath
Returns not . . . And these meadows, blossoms, birds,
These lovely gentle girls--words, empty words,
As bitter as the black estates of death!
-Petrarch 1304-1374
Things to consider:
 When you explicate poetry, you want to consider both form and content.
 Elements of form include: genre, stanza divisions, rhythm, rhyme
 Elements of content include: personification, apostrophe, simile, metaphor,
symbolism, alliteration, assonance, hyperbole, allusion, paradox, imagery,
diction, connotation, metonymy
 You also need to consider speaker (persona), situation, tone, theme, mood, effect.
Directions:
 Begin with a general statement about the poem’s overall message. Identify
speaker and situation.
 Address matters of form in one-two sentences.
 Then go through the poem and “translate” it—explain what it says, sprinkle in
short quotations, identify figures of speech and other poetic devices as you
encounter them. Mention as many as you can find.
 End with a summary of the poem’s overall effect/purpose/message/importance.
 This essay must be typed and can be one long paragraph of about 1 to 1.5 pages.
Reminders:
 Due Thursday April 8th in class.
 Use present tense.
 After quotations, put the line number in parentheses.
 Write in an objective, third-person POV.
 Avoid contractions and slang expressions.
 Proofread for spelling, grammar, punctuation
.
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