￼A poetry explication is a relatively short analysis which describes how a poem works by examining￼the relationships of its structures, language, tropes and schemes.
Analysis means examining the pieces to understand how things work as a whole. It is like taking apart a piece of machinery to see how it works. ￼You will not need to use critical sources to write this essay. However, you might find it helpful to consult a glossary.
Write a 1000-word explication essay in which you analyse ‘Life Cycle of an Eel’ by Sarah Holland-Batt.
1. Analysis of form and structure (25%)
2. Analysis of language (25%)
3. Interpretation of overall meaning (25%)
4. Writing mechanics (25%)
Life Cycle of an Eel
A flash like silver cufflinks ribbons off into river grass: a fluid lick of nickel,
the sidle and slather of eel. Eyes flat as dishpans
and night-sweat slick, it flutters out of its den in slow ouroboros,
a struggling lasso
of almost human skin.
No beauty is quite
like the fan and fluting of glass it spawns in the reeds,
a trail of clear jelly streamers riding the gulf stream
to the Sargasso Sea.
Its accent is Scots: elves, corruption of eel-fair.
Sexless, according to Aristotle, born of the slime of sea rocks or guts of wet soil.
Tonight I thought I saw
a silvering eel climb
out of a country stream
and snake through
the soaked grass:
migrant of the seas,
line and vector stretching
in a single direction,
its head lifted towards me
like an omen,
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