How to Analyze Poetry

Posted by جيل النصر المنشود On 3:10 ص
How to Analyze Poetry
Literal versus Figurative MeaningCan the poem be paraphrased on the literal level? Is there any evidence (key words, repetition of images, symbols, etc.) which leads you to suspect that the poem must be taken beyond paraphrase? Does the poet's tendency to compress his material create the possibility for multiple interpretations? Are there deliberate ambiguities which allow for multiple interpretations?
Is the poem free of images? Does direct language dominate the poem? Does the author primarily use purely de******ive images, those which appeal to the senses? Is the imagery based on association (the psychological process whereby you are led to link two elements)? Which of the following figures of speech (all of which involve association) are being used in the poem--simile, ****phor, symbol, allusion, personification? How do they function in the poem? Do the images fall into patterns related to the meaning? Do these patterns in effect become dominant symbols lifting the reader beyond the level ?
What general term would you use to describe the author's choice of words--artificial an stilted, highly ornate, Latinate, archaic, abstract, conversational or colloquial, rhetorical sentimental, intensely emotional, trite, etc." Does the author rely heavily on unusual words? Why? Does he rely heavily on simple colloquial language? Why? What words seem significant--connotative or suggestive of figurative meaning? How are these words related to their context? Does the poet's desire to present musical effects (meter or rhyme) influence his choice of words? If this influence is heavy, is the quality of the poem marred? Does the author's time or environment have anything to do with the language he uses? Do any of the words he uses have different meanings today? Can you substitute words of your own for some used by the author? Which are better? Why? Does the experiment help you understand the difference between poetic diction an ordinary diction?
Musical Characteristics-Rhythm
Can you determine a pattern of stress? Does the pattern fit any of the traditional patterns, such as iambic? Does the pattern vary? If so, are these variations due to carelessness, or do they have purpose (in terms of meaning, emotional intensity, etc.)? Is the pattern irregular enough to be called free verse? What functions do pauses perform in the sound pattern

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