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Poetry Analysis

Title

Paraphrase

Connotation
(beyond dictionary
definition)

Title

Theme

Although titles are often a key to the


possible meaning of a poem, readers
frequently do not understand them
before reading poetry. As a first step in
the analysis of a poem, predict what
you think the poem will be about.
Frequently, real comprehension of a
poem begins with whats going on in
the poem. Try to understand the plot of
the poem. Restate the poem in your
own words, not necessarily one line at a
time, but by stanzas.
This term refers o the literary devices,
which contribute to the meaning or
effect of the poem. Try to understand
how these devices enhance the
meaning of the poem.
Literary devices:
Imagery (olfactory, gustatory,
visual, auditory, tactile, organic)
Figurative language (simile,
metaphor, personification,
hyperbole)
Sound devices (alliteration,
assonance, consonance,
onomatopoeia)
Examine the title again. Knowing what
you know now after examining the
poem, why did the author give this title
to the work?
In identifying theme, consider the
authors message about the human
experience or condition suggested by
the poem. Look at what you
paraphrased, then list the subject of the
poem (moving from literal subjects to
abstract concepts: death, war,

discovery, etc.) Finally, determine what


the poet is saying about that subject in
a universal message.

SEE BACK FOR EXAMPLE


Mother to Son
By Langston Hughes
Title
This poem may be a mother giving
advice to her son.
Paraphrase
The mother is describing her life to her
son telling him to never give up.
Connotation
Literary devices:
(beyond dictionary
Imagery: tactile-tacks splinters
definition)
Figurative language: metaphor- the
stairs are being compared to life
Sound devices: consonancerepetition of the n sound:
climbin reachin landin
turnin goin
Title
The poet used literary devices to
convey the mothers advice to her son
Theme
The poem shows the reader through
literary devices such as figurative
language and imagery that the mother
has had a hard life and is telling her
son to never sit down. The crystal
stairs is the exact opposite of the
mothers experiences. The crystal stairs
represent prestige and money

SEE BACK FOR EXAMPLE


Paragraph exemplar:
Poets use many literary devices to convey a theme to the
readers. In the poem Mother to Son by Langston Hughes, imagery,

figurative language, and sound devices are used to express the


speakers experiences. The crystal stairs are a metaphor comparing to
the speakers life. Tactile imagery is used to describe the stairs with
tacks and splinters. These devices suggest the mother did not
have prestige and money and the speaker tells her son life for me
aint been no crystal stair suggesting that she has endured many
hardships.