I. Structure: parts parts within parts line length rhyme, rhythm type of verse: blank verse, free verse, rhymed, iambic, regular vs irregular line or stanza length form of poem: sonnet, villanelle, sestina, limerick, etc. order progression through the parts and within parts II. Mode: Poetry: Narrative, lyric, elegy, epic, didactic, dramatic (characters speak, as in a play or monologue), etc. Nonfiction prose: narrative, descriptive, expository, persuasive/argumentative (fiction can contain elements of all of these) III. Narrator (speaker): IDENTIFY, in some way, the speaker What is the narrative stance? First, third limited, third omniscient, stream-of-consciousness What words define the narrator’s perspective? Simply paraphrase the narrative; what is the poem’s “story” in literal terms? Are there voices additional to the narrator’s? How do you know? IV. Figures of speech: comparison: simile, metaphor, personification, animation distortion: hyperbole, understatement substitution: metonymy, synecdoche V. Imagery: IDENTIFY the images in the passage. Images are words, phrases, or sentences that provide a mental picture or sensation (sense – ation: a concrete physical thing that can be perceived with the senses, like “an odor of chrysanthamums” or “the deep, nocturnal musk beneath the cloying smell of honeysuckle.”) CLASSIFY the types of imagery that recur in the passage. Is it animal, nature, kinetic, sickness, grave, Christian, hellish, etc. Images are generally suggestive rather than comparative. VI. Symbols (Do not CREATE symbols out of nothing. If you see no symbols, do not concoct one to answer this section. Leave it blank instead. A symbol is something that is itself and is also representative of something else – you must have clues and evidence: how do you know this is a symbol? What is it a symbol of? How do symbols work in the poem’s allegory? VII. Theme: What universal ideas (not a lesson) is the poem exploring? VIII. Tone: What attitude does the poet or speaker take toward his subject? How do you know? (ironic, sarcastic, sincere, angry, disdainful, sympathetic…. IX. Write a thesis with three angles working toward a single purpose about your assigned poem. One workable formula is to examine how I-VI develop VII and VIII.