Every author and poet have their own unique style that cannot be replicated. Based on how they think or what they are trying to portray, they create various poems to explore several ideas or theories that were on their mind.
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What is a Poetry Analysis?
Poetry analysis is the process of reviewing the multiple artistic, functional, and structural pieces that make up a poem. Normally, this review is conducted and recorded within the structure of a literary analysis essay. This type of essay writing requires one to take a deeper look at both the choices that a poet made and the overall effects of those choices. These papers require an in-depth analysis of all of the parts that were used to form a work of poetry.
Pre-Writing Steps to Take
In order to compose a poetry analysis essay, one must first read the poem carefully. It is definitely important to reread the literary piece several times so as to get a full grasp of the numerous ideas and concepts. This also gives you an opportunity to make note of the rhyme scheme (if there is one), the type of poem (Limerick, ode, sonnet, lyric, haiku, free verse, etc.) and other poetic techniques that the poet used (such as enjambment, meter, end-stopped lines, figurative language, etc.).
Limerick: Limerick is a stanza of five lines, with the first, second and fifth rhyming with one another and having three feet of three syllables each; and the shorter third and fourth lines also rhyming with each other, but having only two feet of three syllables.
Ode: Its structure - 10-line stanzas rhyming, with the 8th line iambic trimeter and all the others iambic pentameter
Sonnet: A fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter. Was made famous by non-other than Shakespeare! (Shakespeare invented the word "swag"... just saying)
Lyric: A lyric poem is a comparatively short, non-narrative poem in which a single speaker presents a state of mind or an emotional state. Rather than tell a story, the speaker talks about his thoughts using a specific rhyming style.
Haiku: Invented by the Japanese, a haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.
Free-Verse: Rather simple, free verse is poetry that does not rhyme or have a regular rhythm.
All of those elements of the poem are essential to know when one is writing a poetry analysis essay because they are a part of the poem’s structure and can affect the content.
After covering the technical aspects of a poem, it is best to learn about the background of the poem. This means that one may find it beneficial to look up the poet, the date that the poem was written, and the cultural context of the work. All of that information typically gives the reader a more in-depth understanding of the poem, and it seems self-explanatory that one who has an enhanced comprehension of the poem would have an easier time conducting an analysis of that poem.
The final element of writing a poetry analysis essay is a part of the composition dedicated to the subject matter of the poem. This can be analyzed during the reader’s quest to determine the theme, tone, mood, and meaning of the poem. The subject matter – and the thematic elements that support the intended message behind the subject – is often an interpretive minefield.
Often, people have different ideas about what a poet is trying to say by their use of a subject, so unless the message is implicitly stated, it is best to state multiple possibilities about what the poet may have meant and include evidence for these theories.
However, it is important to generally pick a side among the various theories that you have created. The amateur writer can try to elaborate on several existing ideas and theories. However, an excellent essay writer always contributes their own ideas and observations, making the work unique.. The writer should be careful to not mistake this with choosing a favorite opinion or biased one. They should be defending the one that carries the most weight or offers the most validation! As the essay is to be an analysis, opinions are to be avoided in favor of facts and conjectures that are backed by evidence from the work.
How To Choose A Topic?
A great way to choose a topic for a poetry analysis essay is to decide on a topic that would deal with information that one is already familiar with. For example, if the choice of the poem to analyze is up to the writer, then it may be beneficial for the writer to choose a poem that he/she has encountered before. If the choice is to be made between different subject areas within a poem, then the writer could find it easier to choose to focus on writing about an area that plays to his/her strengths, so that the statements made in the essay are conveyed clearly and confidently.
A poetry analysis essay may seem like a daunting writing assignment at first, but if the topic, outline, and paper are composed following the aforementioned steps, the paper will no doubt, turn out very well.
Poetry Analysis Essay Outline
An outline for a poetry analysis essay can be very simple. It simply is a guideline for the writer to build upon. Put the title of the paper at the top of the page, then place the number one (1) underneath, just before the word “Introduction”.
Under this, one can list brainstormed ideas for the introduction paragraph of the paper. The final portion of this section should be dedicated to the thesis statement of the paper.
Need a poetry analysis essay outline? Observe this infographic to have an understanding:
Here is a basic structure to follow for your outline:
Following an outline for a poetry research essay is recommended to make sure you organize all your thoughts and statements you want to say. No matter whether you know how to write poetry - an outline will help identify areas that need to be explored in the analysis.
Starting with the title for the analysis can be something very basic or a clever quote, a statement from the piece. Moving onto the introduction to poetry analysis, this should open with a “hook” to get the reader's attention. Follow up with the Authors name and title for the piece. Add some interesting trivia or background info that is not known to the audience, try to keep it short and sweet. To finish off the introduction to a poetry analysis state your thesis. Checkout this free blog on writing a thesis statement for some extra help.
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 nicer to read.
It's important when looking at how to analyze a poem to finish with a clearly set out conclusion. Firstly, start by restating the thesis in different words. Summarize the most important findings to prove the thesis. From this you can draw up your own opinions and take a step back and say what it all means with one key idea. Lastly try to leave the reader with something memorable to take away with them (a thought-provoking sentence or question about the poem).
Top Tips for a Poetry Analysis
We have put together some handy tips to help you with when writing a poetry analysis essay:
If possible choose a poem that you would like to write about. This seems like a simple enough idea but very relevant. If you have the choice pick a poem you enjoy.
Try reading the poem to a colleague or friend and even just out aloud to yourself. This will help discover any hidden information from the sound and it’s always good to get a second opinion or extra ideas.
Don’t be scared to double check meanings of words and phrases. This is vital to know how to write a poem analysis essay and to the best you can. Some words may have had different meanings, cultural references and places all should be looked up if only half certain.
Check if the conclusion has one clear main idea or theme. Do not put in many confusing ideas or conclusions as this will look like you have not evaluated the work with focus. To go beyond a simple poetry analysis for middle school try to show how it links to broader themes and the outside world.
Always try to look beyond the words themselves. Hunt for hidden meanings and any little clues to build a picture upon. Anybody can know how to write a poem but to explore the hidden meanings within poetry takes time, skill and a lot of research.
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Poetry Analysis Essay Examples
“Winter Solstice” by Hilda Morley - From EssayPro
Hilda Morley’s ‘Winter Solstice’ is an overt poem primarily aimed at describing a winter solstice. Correspondingly, the author has dotted the poem with descriptive words meant to create a mental picture of a solstice in a reader. I actual sense, winter solstice is a descriptive term for the shortest day and longest night of a year. In the poem, Morley (1983) elaborately expresses intricate emotions that enliven to actual meaning of a winter solstice in a reader. Figuratively, the author, through the poem, paints the picture of time of the year (or a season) when a person ought to re-evaluate the whole reason for the their existence including such associated elements as fear, concerns, successes, sadness, happiness, and even sadness. From the author’s presupposed perspective, it suffices to say that the cold and long distance between the earth, sun’s light, and the moon will always be larger than life in its entirety. Despite the direction of the analysis (figurative or actual), the elements of the poem and the meaning will remain more or less similar. The use of various literary elements and poetic devices ensures that ‘Winter Solstice’ is both entertaining and informative. The following discussion delves deep into the poem in a bid to deconstruct its general structure and unearth the literary devices and elements therein.
The most striking feature of this poem is its unique structure and layout. According to Conniff (1993) the entire poem is more of a free verse that ignores the most basic of poetic rules and standards. In particular, it does not follow any definite rhyme scheme or pattern of syllables, making the rhythm irregular and unpredictable.
“Auto Wreck” by Karl Shapiro - From Oregon Arts Commission
Summary: The poem starts with a description of an ambulance rushing to the scene of a crash, and hurriedly gathering up the victims and rushing them away. The 2nd and 3rd stanzas explore the emotions felt after the car crash from the perspective of a witness. 8. Theme: A major theme from “Auto Wreck” is death. The author is exploring the random and illogical nature of mortality by contrasting the car crash with other forms of death (war, suicide, stillbirth, cancer) that are more understandable. 9. Mood: gloomy, reflective 10. “Auto Wreck” is a lyric poem because it gives a description of an event and reflections on it, but does not tell a story. 11. Personal reflections: I selected this poem because of the realistic images and how a reader can vividly picture the accident as if he/she was there to see it. It’s a morbid poem, but the theme is relevant, since everyone will die some day and no one knows if it will be sudden, like a car crash, or come on slowly like cancer. My favorite line is, “One with a bucket douches ponds of blood.” It refers to the police man washing away the exaggerated ponds of blood from the accident. I know this line is unpleasant, but I like it because it so powerfully displays the shock of the onlooker. 12. “Auto Wreck” reminds me of John Donne’s poem, “Death Be Not Proud” because they both deal with the themes of mortality. They are different poems since Donne’s poem denies death’s power and mock’s death, while Shapiro seems perplexed by the unpredictableness of death by car crashes.
Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team
When it comes to poetry analysis, the tricky thing is to pinpoint literary devices and explain their meaning. When you pinpoint a literary device used in the poem (e.g. an anaphora) you want to explain its effect in the poem, not simply state that the author of the poem used an anaphora. As the article articulates, the structure and background of the poem is very important, but in case of analysis, it is of utmost importance to stress how background, structure, and literary devices influence the overall meaning of the poem as a whole. What message is it sending and what is it trying to say? Other literary devices that you should pay attention to are diction, imagery, and allusion. The background of the author will not always be available to you. For example, while you are taking an AP exam, pay attention to specific images and words that they use or the cultural references they make can really help you pinpoint where the author is from and assist you in writing your essay.
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