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How to do Poetry Analysis

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Poetry Analysis Fact Sheet Fact sheet for Fiction BASIC DIRECTIONS Title-- Ponder the title before reading the poem List words and Phrases-- List the important Nouns, Verbs, Phrases, and Clauses in separate columns. Paraphrase-- Translate the poem into your own words Connotation-- Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal Attitude--Observe both the speaker and the poet attitude (tone). Shifts-- Note shifts in speaker and in attitudes Title-- Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level. Theme --Determine what the poet is saying. SPECIFIC SUMMARY ANALYSIS Title: Ponder the title before reading the poem; predict what the poem may be "about." Paraphrase: Translate the poem into your own words. Focus on one syntactical unit at a time, not necessarily on one line at a time. Or write a sentence or two for each stanza of the poem. Connotation: Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal. What do the words mean beyond the obvious? What are the implications, the hints, the suggestions of these particular word choices? Devices: Examine any and all poetic devices, focusing on how such devices contribute to the meaning, the effect, or both, of a poem. (What is important is not that you can identify poetic devices so much as that you can explain how the devices enhance meaning and effect.) Especially note anything that is repeated, either individual words or complete phrases. Anything said more than once may be crucial to interpretation. Attitude: Observe both the speaker's and the poet's attitude (tone). Diction, images, and details suggest the speaker's attitude and contribute to understanding. Shifts: Rarely does
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