Poetry is a great part of the literature and owes acclaim due to its beautiful language with imagery built therein to sprinkle ideas with poetic splendor. It conveys some message to people or reflects the mood of the poet.
Analyzing a poem demands creativity, imagination, sharp eye for details and a latent understanding of the inner layers of meaning in the poem.The following factors are to be considered while analyzing a poem.
Overall texture of the poem
Not just one reading would suffice to understand the meaning of a poem. Several readings are required to understand the message, overall texture and meaning of the poem. It is advisable to read aloud first, give a second glance and then read slowly to get into the meaning of words. Without understanding the overall tone and meaning of the poem, it is hard to understand the message conveyed therein.
Tone and mood
It can be melancholy, happiness, jubilation, solitary musings or regret or repentance-the mood of the speaker or the poet has to be fixed so that the poem can be interpreted on those lines.
patterns make a poem effective for reading. It also helps ease understanding of the poem.
Imagery is the wonderful language that picturesquely describes the poet’s thoughts and brings before us the world he wants to delineate.
Figures of speech like simile, metaphor portrayed in a poem is to be noted down for appreciating the beauty of the poem and the imagination of the poet. At the same time, the symbolic meaning they convey should be interpreted in proper language to give a fine touch to the analysis of the poem.
Poetry normally doesn’t convey the theme directly and it is very subtle in getting across the theme through words and scenes that are picturesque with hidden meanings. Rarely one finds poems which are direct in their message. Through repeated readings, one can understands the theme of a poem. A search for the cultural background or personnel details of the poet could help a person in fixing the theme with ease.
Getting familiar with many other works of the poet will increase one’s knowledge of the poet’s recurrent themes and preferences. For example, when a student examines a poem by Emily Dickinson, he could analyze her thoughts about death with a better perspective had he known her other poems.
Symbols and repetitive words
Certain words may be repetitive with specific meaning in a context. For example, symbolic words in Robert Frost’s poems are the conveyers of the poet’s philosophy of life as in ‘After Apple Picking’, ‘Road Not Taken ‘or ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening’.
It is an overall understanding of a poem with an innate poetic sensibility that would help a person deciphers the language of the poet in the proper sense and decode his message convincingly. Getting guidelines from teachers and tutors would help students analyze the assigned poems in an effective manner and win fabulous scores.
Online English tutors are a great succor for students in analyzing poems of complex structure. Their adept skills in reading in among lines to pick out the inner meanings of a poem to help students take a right stand in analyzing a poem. It would be great exposure to students if they access online tutoring services for critical analysis of poems in their homework.