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Boredom Be Gone: Lesson 11- Back to Poetry

Updated on April 26, 2020

Explication: How to Read a Poem in Depth


1. Read the poem several times ALOUD.

2. DEFINE words that are unclear.

3. Identify the SPEAKER. (If the word “I” Is used, it’s a first person speaker.).
4. WHO is being addressed? (In other words, to whom is the speaker speaking?)

5. Identify the SETTING (TIME and PLACE), if possible.

6. Consider the SYNTAX (structure). Is it TRADITIONAL or INNOVATIVE (unusual)?

7. Identify the TONE (how the author seems to feel about his or her subject).

8. Summarize the PLOT.

9. Take note of the POETIC DICTION (words used). Why are certain words particularly effective?

10. Note the IMAGERY. ( What can you SEE, SMELL, TOUCH, TASTE, FEEL?)

11. Identify and explain the FIGURES OF SPEECH. (alliteration, hyperbole, metaphor, metonymy, onomatopoeia)

12. Discuss the SOUND STRATUM (RHYME and METER)- If you’re unable to identify any type of meter (and remember: METER refers to a specific beat) or RHYME SCHEME ( a pattern of rhyme), then the poem is written in FREE VERSE)

Types of meter

1. monometer: one foot (one beat per line)

2. dimeter: ( two feet per line)

3. trimeter

4. tetrameter

5. pentameter

6. hexameter

7. heptameter

8. octameter

Types of Rhythm

1. iambic- every other beat (syllable) is accented ( the accent is on the second syllable)

Of all the tests that I have failed, this truly was the worst.

2. trochaic- the first of two syllables is accented

No one knows how bad it was.

3. anapestic- the third of three syllables is accented; a galloping rhythm
In the heat of the night, no one thought of the day.

4. dactyllic- the first of three syllables is accented
Waking from dreams, she felt lost and alone.


FINALLY, CRITICIZE and EVALUATE the poem. ( Was it well written? Why or why not?Did the author get his/her point across? Why or why not?)













It’s Your Turn

Follow the steps listed above to explicate this poem.


The Road Not Taken .
by Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads onto way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


Answers will be at the end of lesson 12.



Answers to lesson 10

1. was

2. is

3. doesn’t

4. were

5. was

6. was

7. doesn’t

8. is

9. was

10. his

12. are

13. are

14. is

15. was


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