How to complete a Poetry Analysis Essay like a Maven

author By Mary Boies

Writing an excellent poem analysis or poetry review essay is not the easiest thing to do. It is a skill that requires hard work to learn and perfect. You cannot just read about how to write a poetry analysis essay and become a pro overnight. It takes practice, exercise, and perfection to achieve the best taste. 

poem analysis guide for biginners

Of course, you cannot practice what you know nothing about. No one has ever mastered writing an academic paper about poetry overnight. And that is where this post comes in; it is possible if you know the right buttons to press.

This comprehensive guide captures everything necessary you need to know about writing poem analysis essays or writing about poetry. If you read it carefully, you should be able to write a decent poem analysis essay. And with practice, you should be able to start writing really good poem analysis essays.

What exactly is a poem analysis essay?

A poem analysis essay or a poetry review is simply an essay that analyses a poem.

A typical poem analysis essay assignment will require you to analyze a specific poem. It is up to you to read the poem and talk about the author, the tone, the Meaning, and everything else noteworthy about it.

Like any other literary analysis essay, an essay on a poem helps you critically examine and evaluate a poem to decode the message, understand the structure, and relate to the audience. When writing about poetry, you aim to present a thesis-driven argument about the poem.

The most important thing about poems is the text or the words. You must talk about the text or diction in your poem analysis essay. More importantly, you must focus on the Meaning of the text. This is because most poems have a deeper meaning.

So, it is also essential to talk about that in your essay. To get an excellent grade when writing a poem analysis essay, you must thoroughly research the poem, its Meaning, its central message, and the author.

How do you write a poem analysis essay?

To write a poem analysis essay, you must first understand the poem. And the only way to do this is to read the poem carefully. Read and re-read about two or three times.

When you read, identify essential poetry elements such as rhyme scheme, figurative language, diction, refrain, etc.

Identifying all these elements is important to ensure you fully understand the poem and that your analysis is as comprehensive as possible.

 Reading up on poetry techniques, styles, and elements is good before writing a poem analysis essay. This will help refresh your mind and make it easier to identify all the critical things you need to discuss in your essay.

Read on to understand how exactly to write a poem analysis essay. But first, let�s explore the structure of a good poem analysis essay.

Poem Analysis Essay Structure

Knowing the structure of poem analysis essays is essential to understand what is expected of you when asked to write one. In this section, you will discover the standard structure of poem analysis essays. Poem analysis essays normally have three parts � the introduction paragraph, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion paragraph.

1. Introduction paragraph

The introduction paragraph is also known as the opening paragraph. In this paragraph, you must introduce the poem and its author.  You must provide comprehensive details about the poem and the background information to ensure the reader understands what they are about to read.  

2. Body paragraphs

A typical poem analysis essay will have three to four body paragraphs. You should use your body paragraphs to fully analyze all the important elements or aspects of the poem. And when analyzing the different elements, you must reference them to the poem; don�t just expect the reader to know what you are talking about. Failure to link poetic elements or aspects to the poem will weaken your analysis. Reference the poem generously throughout your analysis to make it more credible.

3. Conclusion

In the conclusion paragraph, you must analyze the poem's overall meaning based on the elements you discussed in the body paragraphs. In other words, your conclusion must combine everything you discussed and wrap up the analysis by giving the poem meaning. In a poem analysis essay, the last two or three statements are often very important because they help the reader to make Meaning of your analysis. So, make sure you take time to write them if you want a good grade.

Remember, you can always order a poem analysis essay from us, especially when you do not have the time to write one yourself.

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Poem analysis essay outline  

You must always create and follow an outline when writing an essay. The importance of doing this is that it makes it easier and faster for you to write the essay. More importantly, it makes your work organized. By following the outline below to create your own poem analysis outline, you should be able to write an excellent essay that will earn you a top grade.

I. Introduction

  1. Name the poem
  2. Name of the poet
  3. State the date of publication
  4. State important background information

II. Body Paragraph 1 (Form of the poem)

  1. State the type/structure of the poem
  2. State the rhyme of the poem

III. Body Paragraph 2 (Meaning of poem)

  1. State the overall Meaning of the poem
  2. Relate the poem to real life

IV. Body Paragraph 3 (Poetic techniques)

  1. State the literary devices used
  2. Provide references to the poem


  1. State the overall feel of the poem
  2. Wrap up the analysis

By outlining your essay, as shown above, you will have everything you need to write an excellent analysis of the poem you�ve been assigned to analyze. Once you create your outline, all you need to do is to start writing your essay. Write your essay by simply providing more information about your statements in your outline. Of course, you should not forget to include transitional expressions between sentences and between paragraphs to improve flow and to make your essay easy to understand.

How to expand your poem analysis essay outline

In the outline template provided above, Body Paragraph 1 focuses on the Form of the Poem, Body Paragraph 2 focuses on the Meaning of the poem, and Body Paragraph 3 focuses on Poetic techniques. Find out what you have to discuss in each body paragraph below.

1. Body paragraph 1 (Form of the poem)

There are many different types of poems. They are usually different in terms of various aspects. Your job in the first body paragraph is to identify the form, including its stanzas, punctuation, rhymes, and rhythm. With regard to the stanzas, you should talk about the number and the length of the stanzas. With regard to punctuation, you should talk about whether they are too many. Regarding rhythm, you should look at its impact on the poem. In terms of rhyme, check whether it is consistent or random.

2. Body paragraph 2 (Meaning of poem)

The key goal of analyzing any poem is to ensure your reader understands its Meaning. Therefore, you need to find the Meaning of the poem you have been assigned to analyze and break down the Meaning for your reader. In this paragraph, your job is first to discuss the surface meaning and then the deeper Meaning. The surface meaning is described in the literal sense, and then deeper Meaning is what the poem is about. You should also talk about the poem's theme in this paragraph. The theme is usually the message. It could be war, race, religion, sexuality, spirituality, nature, love, or life. You should never forget to analyze the theme.

Another important thing to talk about in this paragraph is the tone or attitude of the poet. The tone is the shade of language used in a poem, and it is often an important thing to consider to when trying to understand a poem. The tone of a poem could be morbid, regretful, scornful, ironic, negative, positive, optimistic, solemn, reflective, bitter, critical, or formal.

It is crucial to note that sometimes one paragraph is enough to analyze the meaning of a poem. Other times, it is not enough, and you may need two or three paragraphs.

3. Body paragraph 3 (poetic techniques)

In the third body paragraph, your job is to identify the poetic techniques (literary devices) used in the poem. After identifying, you should analyze these techniques and their use. Poets use various techniques in their poems. The most common ones include irony, hyperbole, repetition, dissonance, assonance, oxymoron, allegories, metaphors, similes, and symbols. Identify any in the assigned poem and talk about it in this body paragraph.

After discussing the body paragraphs described above, you should conclude your poem. In the essay's conclusion, it is your job to identify and analyze the poem's overall meaning. It is very important to do this in a way that explains everything you�ve talked about in the body paragraphs. Most importantly, your last statement must be significant because it must clarify whether the Meaning of the poem matches the persona of the poet or not.

The Most Important Elements during Poem Analysis

When analyzing a poem, there are certain things or aspects you must talk about. These include structure, rhyme scheme, plot, voice and tone, figurative language, imagery, diction, setting, and refrain. 

1. Structure

In most literary works, the standard structure is the one that starts with an introduction, followed by body paragraphs, and then a conclusion. Poems do not have this structure; they have stanzas. Therefore, when talking about the structure of a poem, you must focus on the stanzas and how they have been written. The stanzas can be regular or irregular. You must identify how the stanzas have been written and the significance of this particular to the central message.

2. Rhyme scheme

Virtually all poems have a rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme of a poem is usually its most notable feature. Poets typically use a refrain (a line at the end of stanzas) to create a rhyme scheme in their poems. So, check if a poem has a refrain or any other feature that creates a rhyme. If nothing creates a rhyme, it is vital to identify the poem as free verse. If a poem has a rhyme, it is essential to identify the type of rhyme it has in your essay. Rhymes can be identical, slant, or internal.

3. Refrain

All poems have a central message or meaning. Therefore, before you write a poem analysis essay, you must try to find this Meaning. To stress the message they are trying to pass, poets usually integrate it into the refrain. As explained when discussing the element above, a refrain is a line repeated at the end of every stanza. The refrain usually creates not only a rhyme scheme but also reiterates the message and gives Meaning to the poem. You must always dissect this Meaning in your analysis.

4. Setting

A poem analysis essay is incomplete if it does not discuss the setting. The setting is that information that provides context. This is important to ensure a poem is understood how the writer meant it to be.

The details you must provide to outline the setting include the personal history of the poet and the period the poem was written.

Other details include the environmental, cultural, social, and political aspects that prevailed when the poem was written. You can also relate the entire poem to a cultural context, historical or religious epoch, or its cultural significance.

5. Characters

When analyzing a poem, it is vital to identify the narrator and the characters. The narrator is the person voicing the words.

It is often not the poet. So, it is crucial to identify who is talking and the audience they are addressing. The role of the narrator is to voice the words written or pass the message.

6. Imagery

Using imagery is one of the easiest ways to make an audience remember your message. Poets often use imagery by evoking senses of sound, sight, smell, taste, and touch. Imagery is also known as symbolism. It is usually words, an idea, an action, or an object a poet uses to appeal to make the reader imagine the situation using one of the five senses. Imagery is powerful in that it makes readers empathize with the narrator.

7. Figures of speech

When analyzing a poem, you must highlight and discuss the figures of speech used.

The figures of speech include personification, irony, similes, similes, metonymy, synecdoche, litotes, and metaphors. Poets usually use these to pass a message or create a certain impression.

Clever use of figures of speech is powerful and can have deep emotional appeal. It also makes a poem or parts of it memorable.

8. Diction

Diction is the choice of words used and how they have been used. When analyzing it, it is essential to talk about the words used in a poem, particularly in cases where the words could have deeper Meaning.

You should focus mainly on the words used in the refrain or the words that are detailed throughout the poem. Identify and talk about the impact of these words (whether they increase or reduce Meaning).

9. Voice and tone

The persona adopted by the poet usually determines the voice and the tone of a story.

The important thing to consider when looking at the persona is their mood. Ask yourself what mood the narrator of the poem adopted. Is it a sombre mood, a positive mood, a regretful mood, or a hopeful one?

Whatever it is, identify it and talk about it in your analysis.

10.  Plot

Of course, it is essential to identify a poem's plot when analyzing it. The plot of a poem is its storyline.

Poets use events, disappointments, tragedies, conflicts, experiences, and so on, to provide a storyline to their poems. It is crucial to identify the storyline and explain the direction taken by the poet in their poem. This will help to simplify the poem for the reader, which is the core purpose of writing a poem analysis essay.

A step-by-step guide to help you write a poem analysis essay

  1. Read the requirements in your assignment. It is important to understand what you are expected to do before you start doing it. Mainly focus on the word count required, the number of paragraphs allowed, and the formatting you must stick to.
  2. Read the poem assigned. Once you have read and understood the instructions or requirements in your assignment, it is time to read and understand the poem assigned. You cannot analyze a poem without totally understanding it. So read the poem and preferably do it a couple of times to fully grasp what it means.
  3. Try to find the deeper meaning of every line. When reading and re-reading the assigned poem, you should try to find the deeper meaning of every important line or phrase you see. You should do this by first identifying the words or phrases with a deeper meaning and then try to decipher the deeper meaning by considering the plot, the mood, the tone, and the prevailing circumstances when the poem was written.
  4. Identify all the important details you need. A proper poem analysis essay will consider all the important elements of the poem and talk about them in the analysis. At this juncture, identify all the key elements of the poem and write them down. The key elements include structure, rhyme scheme, plot, voice and tone, figurative language, imagery, diction, setting, and refrain.
  5. Create an outline. At this point, you have all you need to start writing your analysis essay. All you need to do now is to create an outline. Use the outline template shared in this blog to create your outline based on the elements you identified in the step above.
  6. Start writing. After creating an outline, you have to start writing. Write by expanding your outline and using transition words to make your analysis flow. The fact that you are using an outline will make your analysis essay organized.
  7. Proofread your work. After writing your essay per the outline you created, you must proofread and edit your work. To do this, read your essay aloud and try to make it sound as easy to read and understand as possible. Of course, eliminate all grammar errors and mistakes you find.

Tips when writing an Essay About Poetry or Poems

  1. Read the assigned poem multiple times to fully understand it. This is the only way you can make the poem easy to understand.
  2. Identify the stand-out poetry elements when you see them. The standout elements include the refrain, the tone, the structure, the figures of speech, etc. When you notice them, identify them and note them down.
  3. Don�t let your biases cloud your analysis. We all have biases or opinions. It is crucial to ensure that your analysis is guided only by the facts present in the poem and not your biases.
  4. Make sure you read a bit about the poet and their work. This will help you understand what the poet usually talks about and how they do it. This will make it easier for you to understand the poem, its symbolism, and its central message.
  5. Practice makes perfect. You must regularly analyze poems if you are taking a literature class. This will make it easier for you to identify and discuss the crucial elements in poems.

Final Remarks

The information provided in this post should allow anyone to write an excellent poem analysis essay.

When choosing a poetry analysis essay topic, ensure that you focus on its context, author, and plot. The topic should be based on the theme you have selected to explore. 

If you still find writing a poem analysis essay challenging, you should contact us now. We have been in the essay writing business for ages helping students like you to get what they want quickly.

Our English essay helpers are ready to write a 100% original poem analysis essay on any poem of your choice or one that you are assigned to write. The essay you get will be completely original, and you can use it in any way you want.

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