Choose one sonnet from the assigned reading for Tuesday and explicate it. This means that you will write a traditional explication, a formalist*
explanation of the way the poem works and what you think the poem means.
To discover more about how to write a poetry explication, please see this page from the UNC-Chapel Hill Writing Center:
If you are having trouble developing such a claim, use the Harmon approach I mention on that webpage and start by filling in the blanks to this
sentence: “This poem dramatizes the conflict between ______ and ______.” Then, identify a few of the main ways the poem does this, and conclude this
tentative first paragraph with your final main claim, which should advance your interpretation of the poem. Such a formula is helpful and gives you a
foundation from which to work; you should not, however, become too dependent on it! After going through these steps, you can revise your introductory
paragraph to better suit the aims, methods, and ideas you generate in your discussion of the poem, which should support and extend the
thesis/interpretation you wish to advance.
This explication, then, will indeed require more than one page. You should, however, be able to write an incisive and concise explication in about 2-3
pages. You will not be able to discuss every detail in the poem, so choose the most salient details. Your discussion, however, should include relevant
information about rhyme, rhythm, meter, diction, and tone.