How to Explicate a Poem
Explicating a poem means to explain, interpret or analyze a poem. It discusses the form, type of rhyme scheme (abab, abbacc) and what theme/tone (serious, humorous, meaning) is used. The explication also analyzes important techniques used (alliteration, metaphor, simile) which contribute to the overall poem.
An explication is not a statement of how the poem makes you feel, unless it is supported with analysis of specific lines and is not a personal reaction based on your background or mood.
Explications of poems are sometimes longer than the actual poem. When discussing sonnets or similar length poems, one page is usually enough. However with long, narrative poems, they are naturally longer and the sdetails used are more selective.
A Poison Tree by William Blake
The sixteen-line lyric poem holds a serious tone expressing anger and temptation. Although the rhyme scheme is aabb, the connection between the first and third meters in each stanza hold a strong connection. The title of the poem expresses symbolism for what the poem is going to be about. The first stanza starts off telling of the narrators anger growing for his friend. The second stanza shows the pain the narrator went through and the struggles he had. The third, expresses further growth of the pain. It grew so much that it couldn't be hidden any longer, thus his foe found out. The forth, has several different interpretations. It could mean that the narrator deceived the foe or the foe is standing beneath the tree, waiting for the apple bright to fall (waiting for their friend to admit of the anger).
The poem also has a religious context with reference to Adam and Eve. The narrator being evil, temps the foe (good) into consuming the apple. The author also relates good and evil to each other - friend and foe, fears and smiles, night and [sun]shine, [north] pole and [summer] trees - suggesting that good and evil work together, if not one and the same.