Analysis Essay – Analysing any piece of literature involves careful examination and thorough evaluation of the literary work. Poetry analysis is no different. It involves breaking down the subject into its component parts. You need to focus on the key features while analysing the poem, such as setting, narrators and character, refrain, imagery, diction and more. Sounds complicated?
That’s because it is complicated.
Unlike prose, poems do not affect their reader in the same way. Thus, analysing a poem requires you to think analytically about the poem before you start the draft.
Here are five tried and tested steps that make poetry analysis 10X easier for all. Let’s begin.
1. Understand the poem
Do you know about 59% of students opt for coursework help and online assignment help because they understood the question wrong? That shows how crucial it is for you to get to know the poem. I am not talking about just reading and understanding the visible meanings of the poem. You need to dig deeper and get a solid grip on the underlying meaning of the poem. I will tell you what I tell my juniors at university.
Do not start organising the essay right after you have read the poem. Read the poem again but this time aloud, and do it several times. This will help you identify the meter, structure, rhyme scheme, themes or anything which creates an effect.
Okay, let me make it smoother for you.
Find out the following 10 features while reading the poem:
- Rhyme scheme
- Voice and tone
- Figurative language
You get a detailed understanding of the poem once you get hold of the above-mentioned features.
2. Analyse the poem
Two important pieces of advice before you start reading this section: This forms the bulk of your essay. So, no kidding here. Get rid of all distractions and approach them with care. You got it. You cannot cover every aspect of the poem in a poetry analysis essay. So, pick the elements (the features mentioned above), and you will be able to create special effects easily. Do not stay restricted to the surface meaning of the poem. Figure out how the techniques add depth to the meaning of the poem. How do the elements match with each other? Do they complement each other or create tension in the setting? You have to consider both what the narrator says and how the narrator says it while analysing the poem. For instance, let’s say you found a pattern of imagery that conveys something about the speaker. So now you need to focus on other areas of the poem that go along the same lines.
3. Interpret the poem
By now, you must have an idea about how the poem works. So that’s your evidence. Now, it’s time for you to ask the ‘so what’ question or, in other words, interpret the poem. Bring together your analysis of the elements in the poem. Show what it means to the poem as a whole. Suggest a brief interpretation of the poem’s subject or the narrator or the nature of the experience. Consider “The Raven” by Edgar Allan Poe.
What does it suggest? A hallucination? A dream or recollection?
You can have any number of assertions while interpreting the poem. But make sure all of them are linked to your evidence. In short, your interpretation and analysis should align with each other. Evidently, poetry consists of a multi-faceted nature. That means you have to know where you are going before you start constructing the written argument. This is where the role of description and paraphrase stages comes in. Once you are through these stages, you will be all set to start writing the essay.
4. Writing the essay
Here are the sections to include while writing the poetry analysis essay:
- Go through your notes once again.
- Identify similar patterns and themes.
- Explain the relationships and effects of elements in the thesis statement.
- If possible, you can also include the important features of the poem here.
- Your thesis statement must argue a point.
- Make your readers comfortable with the poem in the opening paragraph.
- Identify the poet.
- Provide a brief, general description of the poem.
- Narrow and limit the subject as you develop an argument.
- Do not use abstract or sweeping statements that you cannot link to your thesis.
- Some arguments can have a linear or non-linear presentation depending on the context of the poem.
- Organise the approach based on the patterns you intend to address in the poem.
- No matter how you present the arguments, make sure they are clear. Also, keep your thesis in sight.
Paragraphs and using evidence
- In poetry analysis essays, you argue for a certain position. You don’t have to convince your reader of the position.
- Inform your reader about the focus of the argument at the beginning of each paragraph using a topic sentence.
- Use convincing evidence to address the assertion throughout the rest of the paragraph.
- The conclusion can have different forms. You can emphasise your key ideas.
- You can also raise relevant questions about the poem.
- I like to connect the poem with other literary experiences or works.
- You have already presented your evidence to the readers. This is where you offer your overall interpretation of the poem.
- You can raise new ideas here only if they link to your arguments.
Address all these sections, and your poetry analysis will be ready.
5. Enjoy the poem
According to PhD thesis writers, it is impossible to write a creative and interesting analytical essay if you don’t enjoy the work you are analysing. Yes, this task requires you to break the poem down into easily understandable and explainable terms. But, you have to appreciate the poem before like you are supposed to with literary expressions. In the poetry analysis essay, you are not just explaining what the poem means but conveying what it does to you.
If you are given a choice, pick the poem that interests you the most to analyse. Your eyes may miss things, but your ears won’t. So, read it out loud to get the hold of underlying meanings of the poem. It is better not to assume anything about the speaker or the poet that is not written in the poem. Be very selective with evidence and let your interpretation follow your analysis.