The best thing about writing a poem analysis essay is that you get to study poetic art. Poetic art, according to this guide, refers to all literary works written in verse. Writing a poem analysis paper allows you to appreciate the beauty of literature while gaining general knowledge on how different poets convey their message using words alone. The basics may seem complicated but once you get them down, writing a perfect poem analysis essay will be easy as pie.
1) Look At the Poem Structure
Before analyzing what the poet really means by his words, your first step should be appreciating how he said it. Analyzing the structure of the poem lets you see whether or not it makes use of rhyme or rhythm. This way, you will have an idea on whether or not the poem is well-composed.
A good example of a poem that uses rhyme and rhythm effectively is William Blake’s “The Tyger.” The stanzas end in such a way that it prompts you to read them out loud:
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry? When we say fear, we actually mean awe. Look at how the poems give off two different emotions with just one word. This means mastering sense details, such as personification and alliteration, can help you determine what poet really means by his work. However, don’t expect this rule to apply perfectly most of the time. There are poems whose words seem to go against each other but actually make sense when you look at the context.
2) Study All of the Poem’s Elements
It is not enough that you only study the poem structure and its meaning. Writing a perfect poem analysis essay also requires knowing about all of its elements – from punctuation, phrasing, meter, vocabulary, etc., down to how it was written. For example, knowing that “My love is like a red, red rose” is written in ballad quatrain can give you an idea on what type of poetry Robert Burns used to convey his message. Knowing this detail will help you fully understand what he meant by writing such line regardless if you have no previous knowledge on what Burns wrote. In fact, understanding poetic elements helps you get a deeper insight on the poem’s message.
3) Think of What You Know About the Poet
In some cases, even if you have no idea what a poem is about or how it was written, thinking of what you know about the poet might help you determine some details that can give a hint on what he really means by his work. If a poetry is satirical in nature and the poet is known for being sarcastic in some of his works, then there’s a big chance that he had written something with an underlying sarcasm again. On the other hand, if the poet has also composed romantic or heart-breaking poems but uses double entendre words in this specific one, then he might be up to something.
4) Ask Yourself Questions while Reading the Poem
While reading a poem doesn’t require you to take down notes or memorize the words, it helps if you ask yourself questions that will help you understand what the poet really means by his work. Writing a perfect poem analysis essay based on this strategy requires not only being able to use context clues but also being able to make logical assumptions and deductions. For example:
– Is there any underlying sarcasm in these lines? What is the poet’s tone here? (Based on everything we know about him, we can assume he has used satire.) – The line “Come live with me and be my love” sounds like a pick-up line used by suave men. What is the poet really implying here? (Double entendre is in use.) – How would you interpret “trailing clouds of glory”? (It hints that the speaker wants to escape his daily life and revels in the idea of death.)
5) Let Your Writing Process Flow Naturally
Some people might be very particular about planning their essay before starting to write it down while others go with the flow and simply record everything on paper as they think of it. Writing a perfect poem analysis essay calls for creativity, which means you should let your writing process flow naturally. Allowing yourself to write random ideas without editing them allows you to put your real thoughts onto paper, making them easier for readers to understand.
6) Remember to Proofread and Edit
Everyone makes mistakes. Even the best of writers commits errors from time to time, especially when they are under pressure or exhausted at the end of a task. Writing a perfect poem analysis essay requires perfection, which means it is important that you proofread your work and edit any grammatical error found in it. There’s nothing more embarrassing than seeing punctuation marks going out of place because you failed to read through your material. This might not be a big deal if you’re writing an informal document but can affect how your readers perceive your ability as an academic writer if you fail to do so on something related to literature analysis.
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