Step 1: Read the title and the entire poem without stopping.
Step 2: Break up the poem into separate ideas and/or stanzas.
Step 3: Consider the title and author: what information does this convey?
Step 4: Paraphrase the surface meaning for each idea/stanza.
Step 5: Look for poetic devices within each idea/stanza: how do they help to convey a deeper meaning?
|Sound Devices||Figurative Language||Diction|
Step 6: Establish whether or not the poem has a specific metrical pattern: does the pattern (or lack of a pattern) contribute to the theme?
Step 7: Analyze the structure of the poem: how does this contribute to the theme?
Step 8: Reread the poem with new understanding and appreciation.
Step 9: (If required) Write an analytical paper connecting the surface meaning to the deeper meaning.
Not sure how to write a poetic analysis? Use the poetic analysis frame below to get started! You can repeat the frame as many times as necessary to get your point across.