How to write a poetry analysis essay

The authors of the poems are very talented people. They can only in a few lines reveal their souls and tell you the whole story. The poem is like a short message which includes a great content. Every poet has its own unique style which cannot be repeated.

Writing the poetry analysis essay is not an easy assignment. You have to review all components that make up the poem, those are multiple artistic, functional, and structural pieces.

Preparing to the writing

First of all, read carefully the poem. You must read it several times in order to get a general idea and all concepts included in the poem. While reading, take notes on the following points:

  • the type of poem (Limerick, free verse, sonnet, ode, haiku, lyric, etc.)
  • the rhyme scheme (if there is one)
  • and other poetic techniques that the poet used (such as end-stopped lines, enjambment, figurative language, meter etc.)

When you covered up these technical details, research the background of the poem. Learn about the cultural context, the date when the poem was written. Author’s biography is also an essential aspect to take a look at. This may help you to realize the hidden ideas of the poem. The background information provides you with an in-depth understanding of any poem.

Facts over opinions

The poetry analytical essay is kind of analysis which means you have to prefer to use facts over your personal opinions. As many people have read the same poem as many opinions there are. Everyone perceives the same piece of art according to their personal experience. That’s why the thoughts and impressions are so different.

Describing some elements requires providing multiple possibilities of what author was intended to show the reader. But, don’t be ambiguous, pick the side, and support your ideas with valid pieces of evidence.

Outline of the poetry analysis essay

In this section describe all the necessary information you’ve found during research of the background, topic, and theme.

  1. General literary analysis –form, vocabulary, imagery, and punctuations

Vocabulary is the part which includes the most important words of the poem that convey the main idea, tone, and music of the work.

Imagery. Very often authors use in their poems metaphor, allegory, irony, synesthesia, simile, some words that are normally not used in everyday life to make their poem special.

Form. Here we deal with its rhymes and rhythm.  The poem can be an open form (free verse) or closed (with the fixed structure).

Punctuation marks. Punctuation marks are very important in the poetry, as they set the tone of the poem, define its emotions. That’s why it is important to analyze their role as well.

  1. Line by line literary analysis (or select remarkable lines)
  2. Conclusion – meaning and overall impression

Write the poetry analysis essay based on the author’s biography, your impressions from the poem and background information, and your work will be appreciated. You can also check some sample poetry analysis essay.