Tips for Analyzing Structure and Meaning of Poetry

Word Choice Imagery/Sensory Language Figurative Language
 Use context or a  Sensory language  Identify similes
dictionary to creates images that (comparisons using like
understand word appeal to one or more or as).
denotations (literal of the five senses.
meanings) and  Identify metaphors
connotations  Identify images— (comparisons which one
(associated ideas and descriptions that this is spoken as if it
feelings). appear to one or more were another).
of the five senses.
 Connotation and
denotation help create  Determine your  Identify
the tone of the poem. emotional response to personifications
each. (comparisons giving
 Ask yourself what the human characteristics
connotations of key  Analyze ways in which to a nonhuman subject).
words show about the images are connected
subject and the speaker and considered what
(the voice that says the they show about the
poem). poems subject.
Sound Devices Structure Rhythm
 Identify any instances of  Determine the poem’s  Identify the pattern of
alliteration (the form and notice is stressed and unstressed
repetition of sounds at patterns such as rhyme, syllables in each line.
the beginning of line breaks and stanzas.
words).  Rhythm gives a poem a
 If the poem divides into musical quality.
 Identify any instances of stanzas, determine the
onomatopoeia (words main idea of each.  Consider how meter
with sounds that imitate reinforces ideas.
what they name).

 Consider ways in which
 Identify instances of changes in the rhythm
repetition (the reuse of reinforce surprises or
the same word or shifts in meaning.
closely related words).

 Identify any instances of
rhyme (the repetition of All of this information can be
sounds at the end of found in your Literature book
words). on page 576 (Blue) or 554