how to write an analysis of a poem
All academic essays typically consist of an introduction which introduces a thesis statement, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
- Context of the poem (author’s personality & background, the country, the time of writing)
- Style or genre (e.g. epic, narrative, lyric, Japanese haiku, ode, satire, sonnet)
- Title (its meaning & significance)
- Themes (e.g. love, death, war, religion, nature or another significant concept)
- Poet’s tone (e.g. humorous, satiric, somber, playful)
- Mode (e.g. festive, provocative, mysterious, brooding, ominous, fearful, zany, jolly, cheerful)
- Versification (rhyme scheme & meter)
- Rhythm (e.g. conversational, confessional, meander, frolic, dance)
- Literary devices (simile, metaphor, personification, irony, litotes, synecdoche, metonymy, analogies, symbolism)
- Language (sibilance, alliteration, cacophony, euphony)
Once you’ve read through the poem, you can start analysing the poem’s content.
Here are six steps to help you to analyse a poem:
If you found this helpful, you may wish to check out Poetry Essay app. It provides you with a range of writing frames to help you stich a poetry essay together. Alternatively, please visit poetryessay.co.uk for some other free resources – such as posters, poetry annotations and planning templates – to assist your analysis of poetry.
Understanding the speaker is at the center of a poem may help the piece appear more tangible to students because they’re able to imagine a person behind the language. Questions to consider are:
Think about the title and how it relates to the poem. Titles often provide important clues about what is at the heart of a piece. Likewise, a title may work ironically or in opposition to a poem. Questions to talk about and consider are:
Poetry analysis, also sometimes referred to as a poetry review, is a reflection on a poem that involves analyzing the poetic instruments, discussing the language and the figures used by the author, as well as sharing one’s personal position on the poem. When it comes to poetry analysis, one has to go beyond just reviewing the words and phrases used, but instead see the bigger picture, try to read between the lines, and understand what has driven the poet to use the words he or she used. Thus, poetry analysis requires some primary research on the author of the poem, as well as some background and history behind the poem’s creation.
When reading through poems, mind their titles: sometimes they can give you a clue into the understanding of a whole poem. Therefore, even if the poem is difficult to understand, its title can explain a lot.
The bulk of ideas and comparisons need to be explored here in a clear, focused way. When writing a poetry analysis, each paragraph should be devoted to one point or feature you are comparing. You can divide each point by using the corresponding letter from the outline. Try to make it a coherent and specific about what is being compared (example: when stating your ideas about what the poetic devices do to the piece check whether you state each one and do not generalize). Using transition words and phrases will keep the paragraphs flowing well and more helpful to read.
A poem analysis essay may seem like a daunting writing assignment at first, but if the topic, outline, and paper are composed following the steps mentioned above, the paper will no doubt, turn out very well.