Writing a poetry analysis paper

Writing a poetry analysis essays requires one to talk about such issue as the way the language of a poem plays a part in its meaning. You will likely be graded in your skill of recognizing various literary devices - simile, allusion, allegory – additionally, an explanation of what the author wanted to say. You also have to organize your work so that it has a thesis; it must never be just a simple comment on a verse.

Choosing what to write about

You are really lucky if your professor has given you a specific topic. In such a case, you don't need to spend much time on thinking about the subject to describe. But if you are free to choose a theme, then you need to do a thorough research. Keep in mind that the topic you are going to discuss should be really interesting. Only in such a way, you will manage to compose an interesting work.


To create a professional poetry work, it’s recommended to read the text aloud one or more times, along with many times to yourself. There is no need to remember a poem to discuss it convincingly, however, you need to understand clearly it’s idea and to know all aspects of it.

What is the poem about in your opinion? In case you are completely mystified, consider creating a paraphrase, which is actually a line-by-line "translation" of the text into simple words. When you are sure that you understand the meaning, you can refer to it when you proceed to actually writing an essay on poetry.

It is highly recommended focus on strange words. It's helpful to ask yourself what can be the most essential word in the line or sentence. Also, pay attention to the words with unfamiliar connotations. Try to take notes in such cases, especially if the expressed word indicates something that you did not know for sure.

Find all possible examples of literary devices. You can use the margins for taking notes of the devices you find. Don't worry about outlining them all nonetheless. It will be a good idea to have a list of the literary devices. In case the professor has pointed out some certain devices, such as allegory and simile, put those at the top.

Underline those expressions which reveal the direct meaning of the text. These lines will be most helpful most likely in supporting your thesis. Mark differently those lines that seem mysterious for you. Work on them last.

Write your thesis and make sure to support your point of view by providing the evidence from the marked parts. Make sure you discuss not merely what the underlined parts mean but also how a certain language contributes to the expression of the meaning.

Get back to the parts which puzzled you. Try to figure out how they can help you in the poem’s interpretation. Here you need to be really creative and try not to use simple and basic concepts. If you think there's absolutely no option to make these lines fit the poem, think about adjusting your explanation of the unusual lines.

Additionally, try to explain how the specific literary devices help make an emphasis on the idea of the text.

Using the tips above, it will be much easier for you to learn how to write about poetry.