GCSE English Language Revision
How to Analyse a Poem
Poems have been a part of our literary tradition since ancient times and existed even before humans could write them down. Understanding poetry and its purpose can be very easy once you know how. Here are some helpful tips and tricks for analysing a poem for an essay or an exam.
AUTHOR AND CONTEXT
STRUCTURE AND STYLE – Types of poems include:
A Sonnet - It has a rhyming style, sometimes with the structure A,B,B,A
A Ballad - is a poem which tells a story, sometimes about love
Free verse - are poems without rules or structures
Blank verse - is in a structure but doesn’t have to rhyme
A Haiku - is Japanese, with 3 lines and 17 syllables
An Ode - is written to show respect or love to a person, place, idea or time
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR
IMAGERY - What kind of imagery (the sea, war, nature, urban landscape) is used and what’s the atmosphere?
STRUCTURE- What kind of punctuation and stanza shape and length is used? Does it have a certain rhythm?
He uses a metaphor – That’s the POINT.
The metaphor is …– That’s the EVIDENCE.
By using the the metaphor the poet creates…That’s the EXPLANATION.
Whenever you want to make a point you can use this helpful structure.
What is the subject matter of the poem- what is it really trying to say?
How did it make you feel, was it entertaining, sad?
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