Poetry Analysis: The Ultimate Guide with Examples

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What is poetry analysis?

It’s the process of reviewing the multiple artists and functional and structural pieces that make up a poem. In poetry, you express complex feelings, which usually make various meanings. To understand them, examine words, rhythm, images, and obvious and implied meanings.

To write a poem analysis essay, you need to take a more in-depth look at the choices of a poet and the overall effects of those choices.

Here’s a complete guide on how to do poetry analysis.


4-Pre-Writing Steps to Take

  1. Read the Poem Carefully

To get a full grasp of numerous ideas and concepts, it’s crucial to read the analyzed poetry several times. It will also enable you to make a note of the rhythm scheme, the type of poem, and other poetic techniques that the poet used.

Here are the types of poems;

  • It’s a comparatively short, non-narrative poem in which a speaker presents a state of mind or an emotional state. The speaker speaks his mind using a specific style rather than telling a story.
  • Free-Verse. This type of poem doesn’t have a regular rhythm and poetry doesn’t rhyme.
  • A three-line poem with seventeen syllables. Usually, it’s written in a 5/7/5 syllable count.
  • It’s a stanza of five lines. The first, second, and fifth rhyme with one another and have three feet of three syllables each. The shorter third and fourth lines lime with each other but have only two feet of three syllables.
  • It’s a fourteen-line poem written in iambic pentameter.
  • It’s a structure with a 10-line stanza rhyming. The 8th is an iambic trimeter and all others are iambic pentamter.


  1. Learn About the Poem Background

Look at the poet’s details, the date the poem was written, and the author’s cultural content. It will give an in-depth understanding of the poem which will help you in analyzing that poem.

  1. Define a Composition Dedicated to the Poem’s Subject Matter

It can be done when you determine the theme, tone, mode, and poem’s meaning. The subject matter is often an interpretive minefield.

  1. Pick a Side on Various Theories you’ve Created

It is crucial to report multiple possibilities about what the poet means and include theories for these theories. Be careful not to mistake this for choosing a popular or biased opinion.


Poetry Analysis Essay Outline

Here is a basic structure to follow for your outline:


To get the reader’s attention, start with a hook. Then follow up with the author’s name and title for the piece. Write something interesting or background info that is known to the audience. But try to keep it short. Finally, in the introductory part, state the thesis statement.


Here, explore the bulk of ideas and comparisons in a clear and focused way. Devote each paragraph to one feature you’re comparing. You can divide each point by using the corresponding letter from the outline. Make it coherent and specific. Also, use transitional words and phrases. It will keep the paragraphs flowing well and helpful to read.


In your conclusion, start with restating your statement in different words. Support the crucial findings to prove the thesis statement. Then, draw up your opinions and take a step back and say what it means with one key idea. Finally, you can leave the reader with a thought-provoking sentence or question about the poem.


Tips for Poetry Analysis

  • Pick a poem that you would like to analyze
  • Read the poem to a colleague or friend or even just aloud to yourself
  • Double-check the meanings of words and phrases
  • Check if the conclusion has one clear central idea or theme
  • Search for hidden meanings and any little clues upon which to build a picture.


Poetry Analysis Essay Example

Ballard of Birmingham is the author of a poem about a little girl who wants to attend a freedom protest. Her mother tells her she cannot go because of the dangerous conditions outside. Instead, her mother tells her to go to church to sing in the children’s choir. The little girl insists she would not be alone. But to show respect to her mother, the little girl gets dressed and goes to church. Her mother is contented that the girl would be safe in the church rather than in the protests. Sooner her mother hears of an explosion, she sets racing in the streets of Birmingham in search of her daughter. Unfortunately, she finds her daughter’s dress and shoes through the bricks and grass. She is left wondering where her daughter is.

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