What is an Explication?

    An  explication is an explanation of what an author says and means as well as how he or she gets across the meaning and emotional impact of his or her work. When you explicate, you don't summarize, you explain -- pointing out what clues and techniques the author creatively uses to get across his/her meaning.

    A good explication looks at individual lines and passages, pointing out how they work together like threads in a cloth to create a whole fabric.

Click here to view a bad explication and a good explication of a quote from a poem.

Click here to view a good explication of an entire poem.

Click here to access a symbolism dictionary.

Click here to access a key for finding and understanding symbols.

 Note: When you quote more than one line of a poem, show the line separation with a slash. Example: The poem "Song of the Sky Loom" shows that the sun is like a weaver in the following lines: "May the warp be the white light of morning, /May the weft be the red light of evening."

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