Learn how to write a good poetry essay

When you take language arts classes, you will study poetry and you will be required to write a poetry essay. If you have ever written a literary essay about a novel or short story, you will see some similarities with the poetry essay. It does not matter who your instructor is because nearly every poetry essay is structured in the same way.

The purpose of a poetry essay is to show the meaning behind the poem and the poetic tools the poet used. Poetry essays are also designed to help students learn to appreciate the work that goes into writing a poem. They also help students learn how to read deeply.

Poetry essays are argumentative, so you will need to prove a thesis. Students have several options for the focus of each essay. Students can write about the theme, genre, verse, poetic elements, and context. Each essay will need to be structured with an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The thesis will include the focus of your essay, the body paragraphs will explain how the poem supports the thesis, and the conclusion will restate the main ideas from each body paragraph. The best poetry essays include several actual examples from the poem that is being analyzed.

Here are some tips when writing about poetry topics:

Theme: Most poems have at least one theme. Look at the how the poem relates to real life and the concepts that are supporting that theme.

Genre: What type of poem are you analyzing? Does the poem represent a literary movement? Are there elements in the poem that support the genre or literary movement? Was the poem written during a movement, but not fit with the typical characteristics of the movement?

Verse: Poems can be analyzed by their structure. In an analysis that looks at verse, writers will investigate the rhyme, meter, rhyme scheme, and other techniques that give the poem sound and structure.

Poetic Elements: This style of analysis looks at the figures of speech and other literary techniques used in the poem. The essay will investigate the use of metaphor and simile, personification, irony, metonymy, and synecdoche for example.

Context: The contextual essay will look at the time period that the poem was written or the time period that the poem discusses. It can be interesting to look at the cultural context and the relationship to the theme, too.