TCC Writing Center: Poetry Explication of Analysis Essay

riting Center Tidewater Community College
Phone: 757-822-7170
Fax: 757-427-0327
Poetry Explication or Analysis
Poetry explication or analysis is a me thod of literary critique involving a detailed
examination of every element of a poe m or work, and an exposition for the relationship of the parts
to one another and the work as a complete. This comprehensive treatment tries to cope with all
major aspects of a poem—and the methods your various parts relate genuinely to one another and also to the
unified meaning regarding the poem. An essay that expli cates a work or a passage interprets or clarifies
a poem’s meaning. Explication means “unfolding”. To be able to interpret this is of a poem, it should be analyzed, that's, the reader
focuses on a single facet of the poem, for exam
ple, artistic imagery, using onomatopoeia, or
the characterization for the presenter. The reader might also concentrate on the use of irony, the utilization of
color, and/or use of a set form such as the sonnet.
Understanding a Poem
The ideas of this poem 1.Read the poem several tim
es. Read it aloud at least one time.
2. Write your instant reaction to the poem.
3. Look up the definitions o
f any unfamiliar words.
4. What is the setting, the ti me
and spot, for the poem?
5. Paraphrase (rewrite is likely to terms) the poem.
The feelings associated with poem
1.Look closely at the word and their connotative definitions.
2. What is the poem’
s tone (the speaker’s attitude toward the subject and theme)?
The literary techniques of the poem
1.Look for me
taphors, similes, personifica tions, symbols, metonymy, irony, etc.
2. Exactly what are the ma
jor pictures, both literal and figurative?
3. What specific elements contribute to s
ound, for example, rhyme and verse patterns,
rhythm, and other sound effects such as alliteration?
The style of the poem
1.Consider the degree of language and th e sentence structure of th
e poem.
2. Does the poet use deceptively easy language to state complex tips?
Or are both the
language and tips comparatively simple to grasp?
3. Is the syntax complicated? May be the language elevated and formal?
The theme regarding the poem
1. The ideas of poem all connect with, support a nd enhance regarding the theme or central idea of
the poem.
2. In relation to the a few ideas regarding the poem, state the theme, the root meaning, for the poem
in one complete phrase. This sentence may be a broad statement about human nature
or the human being condition.
3. Remember the theme for the poem would be the th esis of your essay and, as in the way it is of
short tales, there's absolutely no one proper statement of theme.
The critique associated with poem
1. Offer your private evaluation of and response to the poem.
2. Write a conclusion that ties together everyt hing that you have actually stated in regards to the poem.
3. This area can include some researched background in the poet or together with poem, if
you therefore desire.
Outline for an Explication of a Poem
I. Introduction
A. Lead-in
B. Identify the poem, the poet, the presenter additionally the situation
C. Thesis: a one-sentence declaration of theme
II. Some ideas – a careful paraphras e/interpretation of the many ideas expressed in the
III. Emotions – a discussion of em otions indicated in the poem
IV. Literary techniques – determine and talk about figurative language, imagery,
symbols, etc.
V. Style – a short conversation of language and sentence structure
VI. Critique – your reaction to the poem, some background (if needed), and a conclusion
A Critical Analysis of “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson
Edwin Arlington Robinson’s “Richard Cory” contrasts the discontented, frustrated life of
small town people who have the apparently successful and wealthy presence of their hero, Richard
Cory. Whilst the ordinary men compare their daily grind of denial aided by the glitter of Cory’s world,
they envy him. But, since the poem reveals, their envy is silly. For Richard Cory’s final action
reveals a different person through the townspeople’s image of him, somebody who is suffering
in key. The poem’s final lines suggest that individuals that are swept up in their own personal pain fail to
see the anguish in others.
The poem starts by describing Cory as he appears to other people. The presenter of “Richard Cory”
speaks the folks of a small town, in which he starts by describing the citizens’ interest in Cory.
Whenever Cory came to city, those underneath him in rank, the “people regarding pavement,” seemed at
him. He was in most means a gentleman, clean-c ut, handsome, and aristocratically slender.
But, the speaker continues, Cory would not fl aunt his status; he had been constantly “quietly arrayed”
and “human when he chatted.” Nevertheless, only “Good early morning” from Richard Cory sets people’s
hearts rushing because they are in awe of him. He seems to glitter as he moves among them.
Not just is Cory handsome and fine; he could be rich and genteel, “admirably schooled in every
grace,” knowing most of the social graces, a genuine aris tocrat. Yet this seeming excellence and the
townspeople’s not enough cash, social back ground, and social abilities create a distance between
Cory and others. They see him as a model of what they have now been denied: “we thought that
he ended up being everything/To make united states wish that people had been in his place.”
The townspeople remain stuck inside their rut, waiting for the “light,” perhaps for the hope of
better times. Seeing Cory, who may have a great deal, they truly are discontented, for they have to do without the
luxuries of life (“the meat”), plus they are dissatisfied in what they do have (“they cursed the
bread”). The last lines associated with poem unveil anot the woman person’s concealed discomfort, as Richard Cory, so
quietly dazzling, goes house and places “a bullet through his mind.” The best man, the model for
the townspeople, is revealed as you di fferent from other’s fantasies of him.
As Robinson contrasts the idealized Cory identified by th e city utilizing the genuine guy, he
attributes a variety of feelings to the ordi nary people additionally the extraordinary guy. The city,
for example, is in awe of Cory, he's up to now a bove those “on the pavement” that a few words from
him can set pulses to flutter. They admi re his manners, his money, and their clean, slim
appearance. And, of course, they envy him and wish to be him: “we thought he was
everything/To make united states want we had been in his spot.” He's got whatever they do not have, in which he is
what they can not be. They feel unhappy with what they are doing have – the “bread” they curse, and
they wait just for something better, some “light” within their dark lives.
Cory, on the other hand, starts as an enigma. We can't, in the beginning, be sure just what he feels. He
is always therefore peaceful, therefore polite, so gently, that he appears utterly in c ontrol of their existence. Maybe not until
the end of poem, in Cory ’s committing suicide, do we, like the city, begin to see the hidden despair.
The impact of Robinson’s poem is heightened by their utilization of poetic methods. Certainly one of the
most effective techniques may be the usage of irony, produced by contrasting the town’s image of
Richard Cory using the reality late r exposed. To the townspeople, Cory is associated with regal
images; he could be an “imperially slim” gentleman “f rom sole to top,” richer “than a king,” who
“glittered” as he moved. The folks are surprise d that he's also “human” when he speaks, an
ironic statement simply because they don't start to see the peoples suffering that disputes with their image of
Cory. And, ironically, seeing only the royal image for the man, they want they were “in his
Other strategies reinforce this comparison. There is certainly the metaphor of a hero who can set one’s
blood to rushing (“he fluttered pulses”). In a sight image, Cory “glittere d” in light, while the
townspeople “waited” for his or her own “light,” perh aps symbolic of this delight which they felt
deprived. Symbolically, they hate whatever they ha ve (they “cursed the bread”) and must do without
what they feel they want (“we nt without meat”). Noise imagery develops the tension of this poem,
with its hidden and open miseries; in beginn ing every noise is soft. Cory is “quietly
arrayed”, there is the quiet beat of fluttering pulses, the curses of discontented people, and “one
calm summer time night.” But then there's the noisy climatic sound of a gunshot.
There is a frequent usage of alliteration, anot her technique associated with appear, too. There clearly was,
for instance, the repetition of “p” of, “we folks of the pavement” which links the
speaker towards roads. There is much utilization of the “w” and “th” sounds in lines such as, “In fine,
we thought he had been everything/To make united states want we had been in his spot.” Through such sound
devices, including through sight imagery, sign s and images, the poet improves their contrast
between a town’s illusions and its own sudden awakening to truth.
The design of “Richard Cory” expresses th age poem’s meaning merely and plainly. The language
is easily comprehended and the sentence structure uncomplicated. Robinson also makes use of the first
person standpoint so the reader participates inside poem as one of the townspeople, thus
emphasizing the irony of this ending couplet a lot more.
Conveying its ironic message through simple language, “Richard Cory” is an effectual poem.
It expresses an emotion that many of us feel: en vy for those we think lead happier everyday lives that we
do. Plus it reveals the foolishness of these envy plus the secret discomfort and sorrow in an individual’s
This theme regarding the person in isolat ion is common towards the work of Edward Arlington
Robinson. Lots of their poems, particularly “Miniver Cheevy,” “Mr. Flood’s Party,” and “Bewick
Finzer,” describe individuals who cannot fulf ill their goals or whom think about themselves
Robinson, an American poet whom composed in th e late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,
explores the internal lives of these people, peop le whom face beat and whom still attempt to maintain
some moral values. Their work challenges united states to check underneath the surface of others’ life and to
look within ourselves also. Whenever we do this, we may, just like the townspeople of “Richard Cory”,
attain some understanding of exactly what a “happy life” undoubtedly involves.
Copyright because of this document is held y the composing Center and Grammar Hotline of Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach Campus. It's been written, revised, and/or ed ited by staff paid to execute that work university; for the
therefore, the rights are retained by the college. 11/26/03

How to cite this essay: