Writing About Poetry: Analysis, Explication, Criticism, Scholarship, and Commentary

Source Introduction When writers write about poetry, they do so from a chosen rhetorical focus based on the purpose they wish to achieve. Examples of a "rhetorical focus" regarding writing about poetry include but are not necessarily limited to the following: Analysis Explication Criticism Scholarship Commentary I will address each of rhetorical foci using the following poem, showing what each focus would likely address: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" by Langston Hughes I’ve known rivers: I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset. I’ve known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. Rhetorical Foci for Writing About Poetry The rhetorical focus of the writer determines what the discourse about a poem addresses. Analysis The analysis of […]

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