Tips on Writing a Poem Analysis


One of students’ most challenging tasks in any literary class in college or high school, is an academic paper on poetry. When you face the task of a poem analysis, know that your instructor wants you to investigate the content, the form, the structural semiotics, and the context of that poem.

This type of assignment heightens your understanding of a poem as an art form. The poem analysis also helps you to heighten the understanding of others through using your analysis skills and your perspective. 

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What are the tips for writing a poem analysis?

I’ll start by sharing the conventions for all poem analysis essays

These are:

  • Using present tense verbs
  • Use numerous quotes from the poem to explain what they mean and why they are relevant to your main argument
  • It is okay to use criticism by other analyzers
  • The most common citation styles for poetry is MLA

The process of analyzing your poem

  1. Read the poem out loud more than two times. 

As you read the poem or listen to it, note your first impression and immediate positive and negative responses. Note the poem’s structure with its rhythm, line lengths, the pace, and the word choices.

  1. Look for the meanings in all the words you find difficult to comprehend
    Search the meanings of unfamiliar words, phrases, places, and references
    1. What is the rhythm of the poem?
      Is it conversational, frolic, meander, confessional, or dance?
    1. Analyze the title of the poem
      How does the title relate to the contents?
      How does the title provide a clue or insight into the work?

Is the title ironic or satirical?

Does the title influence your initial thoughts on the poem?

Does the title change how you feel towards the poem?

Does the title convey the poem (the history, time frame, action, setting)?

Does the title infer multiple possibilities within the poem?

  • The speaker
    Analyze the speaker’s background and country
    Who is the speaker as the core of the poem? Who tells the poem?
    How is the speaker’s visibility increase your understanding of the poem?
    Are there any clues suggesting the age, gender, perspectives, or personality of the speaker?
    Who does the speaker address?
    Is the speaker attached or detached from the poetic message?

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  • What are the tone and mood?
    Is the mood of the poem festive, brooding, mysterious, fearful, jolly, cheerful, ominous, jolly, zany, or provocative?

Is the tone humorous, satirist, playful, or somber?

Does the tone and mood switch, and why?

How does the poet use syntax to increase the impact that certain words have on the audience?
What is the rhyme scheme and meter?

  • Which type of language does the author use?
    Alliteration, euphony, sibilance, or cacophony?
  • Which literary devices does the poet use?
    Symbolism, metaphors, similes, metonymy, synecdoche, irony, personification, analogies, or litotes?
  • Identify the theme
    The theme is the central issue of the poem and its relation to the universal truth of conflict.
    The theme is a combination of identifying the subject, speaker, the situation, feeling about the subject, and the mood. 

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  • Paraphrase the figurative language, setting, context, speaker, and mood.

Give clear language on your poem analysis 

  • Develop your thesis
    The thesis is your argument about how the poem combines the rhyme, imagery, rhyme, figures of speech, and figures of speech to convey the theme or context. 

Base your thesis on the following principles:

  • A focus on your topic
  • The main idea which guides the development of the analysis
  • Organize your paper in a way that each part explains the meaning of the poem

Write the paper

  • Think of how the separate pieces of the poem relate to a historical or situational context
  • Are there any visual and emotional effects of the words and language used that are relevant to your central thesis?
  • Introduce your paper using the standard format of introduction, body, and conclusion
    • The introduction

The introduction should begin with a startling statement, a rhetorical question, an interesting fact, a quote, or an anecdote. Then present your author, title of the poem, and background information on the poem. It should end with your thesis statement. 

  • The body should have evidence from the poem supporting the main points from your thesis. 
    • The conclusion offers a summary of your main points through rephrasing the thesis statement and giving a different perspective. 

As you can see, writing outstanding poem analysis is easy and straightforward if you follow the steps above. You can also order one from us and we will be glad to write for you a professional custom written piece. The process is simple, just click on order from us, choose the subject you are studying, including the deadline required to submit the paper and any other detail that will help us deliver an A grade paper.

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