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Assignment: Compose a 750-1000 word explication of a poem that explains what’s most essential in it.

(MLA format) 

Write an explication for this poem:

 

“Forgetfulness” by Billy Collins

……

Important comment:

The essay must be an explication, so the poem must be quoted line-by-line, in block quotes (usually), followed by an explanation of each block of quoted lines with a focus on the elements named in the thesis. If the essay is not an explication using MLA Style quotes, a format deduction. may apply. Also avoid elipses and short quotes. Quote large chunks of the poem then interpret it, moving through the whole poem chronologically.

 

HIGH GRADE REQUIRED!!!!!!!!!!

The poem:

The name of the author is the first to go

followed obediently by the title, the plot,

the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel

which suddenly becomes one you have never read,

never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor

decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,

to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye

and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,

and even now as you memorize the order of the planets

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,

the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,

it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,

not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river

whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,

well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those

who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night

to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.

No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.