How to Write a Poetry Essay | Pen and the Pad

 

how to write poetry essay

An essay for poetry analysis requires deep examination of all the styles and elements used during the creation of a poem. There are various issues to consider before writing a poem analysis. The first step before writing a poem analysis essay is to read the poem with very high attention. Writing about poetry can be difficult. A poem does not affect its reader in quite the same way that a work of prose does. To be able to understand and write about the way a poem works, you need to spend some time thinking analytically about the poem before you start your draft. Take a piece of literature that was written in an often condensed form of a language and explain it; that is the assignment when writing an essay about poetry. Writing such an essay can help you understand complex forms of literature and make evaluations of them .


How to Write a Poetry Analysis Essay: Useful Tips and Tricks


Again, before you begin to organize your essay, make sure you understand the language of the poem. Poetry, particularly from other time periods, often contains confusing syntax or vocabulary. Put into your own words those lines or phrases which are especially difficult. Resist the temptation to brush over the lines or phrases which seem unintelligible; these can be the most crucial parts of the poem.

The Oxford English Dictionary is a good resource for defining difficult vocabulary, how to write poetry essay. Since your analysis should make up the bulk of your essay, approach it with care. Knowing that you will how to write poetry essay be able to address every aspect of the poem, select the elements which work together to create special effects.

Look beyond the surface meaning of the words and start to think about how the techniques used in the poem add depth to its meaning. How do the elements work together? Do they complement each other, do they create tension, or both? Think in terms of cause and effect and look for relationships within the poem itself.

For example, if you see a pattern of imagery which suggests something about the speaker, look at other areas of the poem for more evidence along the same lines. In poetry, form and content are inseparable, how to write poetry essay, so you must not overlook the relationship between what the speaker says and how he or she says it. A drug-induced hallucination? A recollection?

Why do you think so? What evidence, from your analysis, supports your idea? The main argument of your paper should begin to take form as you struggle with this process.

You have great freedom in interpreting a poem, provided that your assertions are solidly linked to your evidence. Interpretation that does not align with your analysis will be invalid. In the words of M. Your selective how to write poetry essay emerges from them in the form of an argument that is limited to a manageable set of ideas.

After you have thought through these stages and taken good notes, you should be ready to begin writing your essay. Review your notes. Look for patterns and themes. Formulate a thesis statement that will allow you to explain the relationships and the effects of elements in the poem. If you can, indicate in the thesis the areas or features of the poem important to your argument a pattern of imagery, for instance, or a series of crucial lines.

You do not need to go into elaborate detail in your thesis, but do show the relationship between the poem and your argument. Your first paragraph should make your reader comfortable with the poem by identifying the poet, offering a brief, general description of the poem and, most importantly, leading into the thesis and development of the argument by narrowing and limiting the subject.

It may be helpful to imagine the introduction as a funnel, initially appealing to your reader from a wide perspective and then swiftly directing him or her into the body of your essay. Avoid sweeping, abstract statements or statements which you cannot concretely link to your thesis. The more quickly you get away from the general and focus on the specific, the sooner you will engage your reader. The approach you undertake in your thesis determines the organization of the rest of the essay.

Some arguments lend themselves to a linear presentation, how to write poetry essay. For example, if you choose to trace the development of the speaker according to the recurrence of an image throughout the poem, how to write poetry essay, you might want to go through the poem chronologically to show how that image changes in significance from line to line or stanza to stanza.

You need not limit yourself to such a presentation, however. Many poems are difficult to explain chronologically; some poems are better suited to a non-linear argument which reflects cycles or other patterns in the poem.

If you organize your argument according to the patterns you choose to address, your argument might move through the poem several times, according to the instances of the images and their contextual significance. For example, one word may have a formal relationship to numerous other words in the poem.

To discuss the significance of these relationships, you may find yourself jumping around the poem. Each paragraph should consist of a point which is credible, relevant to your thesis, and analytical. Remember that you are arguing for a certain position and need to convince your reader of that position.

At the beginning of each paragraph, tell your reader the focus of your argument in that paragraph by starting with a topic sentence, how to write poetry essay. The rest of the paragraph should address the assertion with convincing evidence.

The effectiveness of your argument depends heavily on how well you incorporate evidence into your paragraphs. You cannot create a compelling argument without evidence to back it up, but you must present that evidence in the context of your own argument.

Merely including a line or a passage in your paper without linking it to your argument will not be convincing. Before the quotation, describe the evidence in terms of the poem. Where is it located in the poem? Is it part of a pattern? Let your reader know what he or she should be looking for.

After the quotation, if the passage is particularly difficult to understand, you should explain problematic syntax or vocabulary. Then, you must analyze the quote and show how that quote supports the claims you are making in your thesis.

This is the most important part of your paper; it is where you make your interpretation clear to the reader and where you prove your thesis. Don't assume that the quotation will speak for itself—it is your job to explain it. Be sure to cite your evidence properly. Citing from a poem is different from citing from a prose text. How to write poetry essay you are quoting more than three lines, single space the passage, indent, how to write poetry essay, and present the passage as it appears in the poem.

Follow the quotation with the appropriate line numbers enclosed in parentheses see English Department handout on use of how to write poetry essay and citations, available from the Department office and the Writing Center. Conclusions take many forms.

In your conclusion you can emphasize crucial ideas, raise questions about the poem, or connect the poem to other literary works or how to write poetry essay. This is where you can offer your interpretation of the poem, which by now should be convincing to your reader since you have presented your evidence in the body how to write poetry essay the paper.

You may raise new ideas in a conclusion, provided that they are solidly linked to the development of your argument. Remember, you have flexibility, but your conclusion should flow naturally from the body of your paper. Poems are artistic expressions that demand that you appreciate them before you begin to reduce them to something explainable. Often, the most brilliant elements in a poem are very subtle and will be felt before they are understood. Remember, you are not just explaining what a poem does, you are explaining what it does to you.

You are the medium in which the poem comes to life. Writing about poetry offers you a special opportunity to interact with a work of art. Writing Center. Writing Resources. Writing About Poetry. Additional Navigation About Us. Tutoring Services. Incorrect Punctuation of Two Independent Clauses. Misuse of the Apostrophe.

Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers. Pronoun Problems. The Dreaded Pet Peeves, how to write poetry essay. Writing Prizes, how to write poetry essay. Faculty Resources. A poem does not affect its reader in quite the same way that a work of prose does.

To be able to understand and write about the way a poem works, you need to spend some time thinking analytically about the how to write poetry essay before you start your draft.

Then, when you begin to write, you are better able to select appropriate evidence and construct a convincing argument. Professor Ivan Marki of the English Department encourages the four-stage approach explained below. It should help you become comfortable working with a poem. Writing Center Kirner-Johnson Close Search Hamilton.

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Writing Resources - Writing About Poetry - Hamilton College

 

how to write poetry essay

 

Writing about poetry can be difficult. A poem does not affect its reader in quite the same way that a work of prose does. To be able to understand and write about the way a poem works, you need to spend some time thinking analytically about the poem before you start your draft. Any academic essay must have a thesis statement and a poetry essay is no exception. The main purpose of a poetry essay is not to summarize the poem, but to develop an in-depth idea that makes an argument based upon an analysis of the poem. The thesis statement should . A poetry essay evaluates a poem. It analyzes the words, sounds, feelings and topics that the poet uses in the poem. A poetry essay should include analysis of the topic, message, rhythm and word choice. It should have both an introduction and a conclusion.