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Analyzing Poetry

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Analyzing Poetry Powered By Docstoc
					How to
analyze
poetry
Step One: Read through the poem.


  Read through at least twice.

  Read it aloud – this helps with the
   important elements of sound
  Follow the punctuation when
   reading: pause at commas and stop
   at periods – not the end of the line
Step Two: Pay attention to the title.


  The title often contains a message
   or important information.
  Example: Langston Hughes’s poem
   “Mother to Son”
Step Three: Look up unfamiliar words or
research historical references.

    Use a dictionary to define
     unfamiliar words.
    Research references (allusions) to
     historical events or figures that
     may be unfamiliar to you.
Step Four: Paraphrase the meaning of
the poem.


    Translate the poem line-by-line.

    Write the language in your own
     words.
Step Five: Examine the speaker.


    The poet is usually not the speaker.

    The speaker is a character, just like
     in a novel or play.
    Is the speaker a woman, a man, a
     child?
Step Six: Think about all possible
interpretations.


     Feminist view

     Social view

     Historical view

     Think about the nursery rhyme
      “Jack and Jill”
Step Seven: Examine the words carefully


    Look carefully at adjectives,
     adverbs, nouns, and verbs.
    What connotative meaning do
     they suggest?
    Example: mother
Step Eight: Look for symbols.


    Examine the nouns.

    Could any of them have a deeper
     meaning or represent a larger
     idea?
    Example: the dawn, light, end of
     the day
Step Nine: Look for the main message of
the poem.


    What is the tone of the poem?

    What is the overall meaning or
     message the author is trying to
     convey?
Step Ten: Examine the poetic devices.


    See your chart of devices you may
     analyze in relation to poetry.
    Complete the chart by researching
     the terms, using your text or the
     internet.

				
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posted:3/12/2012
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