Poetry Analysis Essay Outline

Here are some examples of commonly discussed figures of speech: Cultural Context: How does the poem you are looking at relate to the historical context in which it was written? How does John Donne's devotional poetry relate to the contentious religious climate in seventeenth-century England?

For example, what's the cultural significance of Walt Whitman's famous elegy for Lincoln "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed" in light of post-Civil War cultural trends in the U. These questions may take you out of the literature section of your library altogether and involve finding out about philosophy, history, religion, economics, music, or the visual arts.

In order to write effectively about poetry, one needs a clear idea of what the point of writing about poetry is.

When you are assigned an analytical essay about a poem in an English class, the goal of the assignment is usually to argue a specific thesis about the poem, using your analysis of specific elements in the poem and how those elements relate to each other to support your thesis.

For more information about important literary terms, see our handout on the subject.

Figures of speech: Are there literary devices being used that affect how you read the poem?In order to make a credible argument about the poem, you will want to analyze how the poem works—what genre the poem fits into, what its themes are, and what poetic techniques and figures of speech are used. This is another place where you may need to do some research in an introductory poetry text or encyclopedia to find out what distinguishes specific genres and movements. The most common meter for poetry in English is iambic pentameter, which has five feet of two syllables each (thus the name "pentameter") in each of which the strongly stressed syllable follows the unstressed syllable.Theme: One place to start when writing about poetry is to look at any significant themes that emerge in the poetry. Versification: Look closely at the poem's rhyme and meter. You can learn more about rhyme and meter by consulting our handout on sound and meter in poetry or the introduction to a standard textbook for poetry such as the .Unlike other essays, an analytic paper will entail detail explanation of the smaller things to shed lights on the larger picture.Most students usually miss the point when it comes to the writing of an analytic essay because instead of analysis, they end up writing a summary since they cannot understand the meaning of analytic essay.A good example of a topic that can be given for an analytic essay is a proverb.You will be required to explain the meaning of the proverb then bring out the relation of the proverb to your situation to improve the understanding of the reader.This specific argument that you want to make about the poem will be your thesis.You will support this thesis by drawing examples and evidence from the poem itself. Does it fit into a specific literary movement such as Modernism, Romanticism, Neoclassicism, or Renaissance poetry?It is useful to follow some standard conventions when writing about poetry.First, when you analyze a poem, it is best to use present tense rather than past tense for your verbs.


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