* Ponder (think about) what you think the poem is about just from reading the title
* Read the poem and put it in your own words. What was the poem about?
* Look for examples of figurative language and the deeper meaning of the poem. For example, simile, metaphor, alliteration, personification, onomatopoeia, assonance, consonance, repetition, parallel structure, tone, feelings, etc.
* Determine the author’s and the speaker’s attitudes. (Comical, angry, regretful, sad, happy, determined, etc.
* Locate the shift or shifts in the poem. This is where the attitude or action changes. For example, maybe someone dies, or a balloon bursts, or a baker drops a wedding cake he’s just finished, etc.
* Look at the title again and evaluate its true meaning. Does it mean something on an interpretive level?
* What is the universal meaning of the poem? What does the author want you to realize about life?