2 What is Poetry? Poetry goes beyond the rhyming of words. The object of writing a poem is usually to make a very complicated statement using as few words as possible.Every word and stanza is packed with meanings.When a poet writes, he is trying to communicate with the reader in a powerful way.A poet uses the elements of poetry to get his point across.These elements consist of a variety of ways to use words to convey meanings.
3 What is the poet trying to say? How does he or she try to say it? How to Analyze PoetryIn the analysis of poetry, two important questions the reader must ask himself or herself are:What is the poet trying to say?How does he or she try to say it?
4 What is "analysis"? It is helpful to think of analysis as decoding. The combination of elements the poet uses makes up the "code" of the poem.Analysis means literally picking a poem apart--looking at elements such as imagery, metaphor, simile, poetic language, rhyme scheme, and so on--in order to see how they all work together to produce the poem's meaning.By looking at a poem in terms of its elements, one decodes the poem.
5 How Do I Get Started? Read the poem more than once. Use a dictionary when you are unsure of a word’s meaning.Read the poem slowly.Pay attention to what the poem is saying; do not be distracted by the rhyme and rhythm of the poem.Try reading the poem out loud to get a sense of the way the sounds of the poem effect its meaning.
6 Elements of Poetry1. Symbolism - Often poems will convey ideas and thoughts using symbols. A symbol can stand for many things at one time.Symbolism is the use of a word, a phrase, or a description, which represents a deeper meaning than the words themselves.
7 FogThe fog comeson little cat feet.It sits lookingover harbor and cityon silent haunchesand then moves on.--Carl SandburgPoem analysis:The fog symbolizes the problems one can sometimes have in their life. The problems can creep upon you them silently like a cat, linger in their life, linger on their mind, and then suddenly move on. Just like the weather, it cannot be controlled.
8 2. Theme – the message that the writer of the poem wishes to convey to his or her readers. For instance, the subject of the poem is about love, and you have to find out from the poem what he or she thinks about love and then write it down in a complete sentence.For example: “Love makes us miserable.”The sentence expressing the theme must be generalized. In other words it must apply to everyone.
9 3. Tone - tone refers to the feeling of the poem. Tone in Poetry is basically the attitude the poet conveys which can, for example, be comforting or vicious. Lots of the time the tone can start out one way, such as sad, and end up with a different feel by the end of the poem, such as hopeful.4. Allusion - a brief reference to a person, historical event, place, phrase, or other literary work with which the author believes the reader will make a connection.
10 IFIf I was Romeo and you Juliet I wouldn't dare kill myself On sighting you dead. I'll just kiss your tender lips - "The kiss of life" For that's enough to wake you up. If I was Julius Caesar and you Calpurnia I'd rather accept being called a coward Than disregard your dream, and make you sad For your love is but a shield. If I was trapped with you In a desolate island Like the legendary Robinson Crusoe To yearn for rescue I'll not For a romantic adventure it'll be To seek for protection I'll not For your love is but a shield To pray for guidance I'll not For an angel from heaven you are Dowell Ighohwo Oba
11 5. Paradox occurs when two things that should not be able to exist at the same time are said, in a poem, to exist at the same time.Because human beings frequently experience two or more emotions at the same time or can see things from two points of view at the same time, they often use paradox in poetry to express such a situation.Dark and Light Dark remembers light, The day they separated, They try to be friends, but can't. Dark doesn't like light Their friendship no longer exists.
12 Other Poetic DevicesWhen analyzing poetry, identify different poetic devices and how they convey the poem’s message:Simile – comparison using like or asMetaphor – a direct comparisonPersonification – giving human qualities to nonhuman thingsPoint of view – who is the telling the poem?Imagery - creating pictures with wordsAlliteration – repeating the same letter