Consider some of the question offered below.
In order to answer the first questions ,you must pay extremely close attention to details .You must take the time to look up any words that you do not understand and to ponder why certain metaphors or figures of speech were chosen to be used at that position in the poem.Remember also that the English language has changed over the centuries and that words we use today may have had a slightly different meaning in earlier times .
1.Who is the speaker?What kind of person is the speaker?
2.Is there an identifiable audience for the speaker? What can you know about this audience?
3.What is the occasion?
4.What is the setting in time (hour,season,century,etc.)?
5.What is the setting in place(indoors or out ,city or country,land or sea,region,country,etc.)?
6.What is the central purpose of the poem?
7.What is the poem about ?State the central idea or theme of the poem in a single sentence.
8.What is the tone of the poem?How is it achieved?
9.Outline the poem so as to show its stucture and development.What kind of poem is it (ode,sonnet,dramatic monologue,lyric poem,etc.)? Why is this type of poem an appropraite means to communicate the author's theme?
10.Summerize the events of the poem.
11.Paraphrase the poem.
12.Discuss the diction (the word choic)of the poem,point out words tha are particulary well chosen and explain why.
13.Discuss the imagery of the poem. What kind of imagery are used? Is there any structure to the imagery?
14.Point out and explain any symbols. If the poem is allegorical, explain the allegory.
15.Point out examples of metaphors,simile,conceit,personification,metonymy,or any other literary device and explain their significance and\or appropriateness.
16.Point out and explain any examples of paradox,overstatement,and\or irony. What is their function ?Why are they used?
17.Point out and explain any allusions . What is their fuction ?Why are they used?
18.Point out significant examples of sound repetition and explain their function.
19.How is the poem constructed? What are its units of organization(quatrains,paragragphs,couplets,etc.)? How are these units linked together (continued metaphor,pro and con,linked sound patterns,logical syllogism,train of thought,etc.)?
20.What is the meter of the poem? Copy the poem and mark each syllable as accented (stressed) or unaccented (unstressed), divide the lines into feet (two syllable units) .Then, identify the pattern of accented and unaccented syllables and the pattern of the rhymes ,and note any significant variations from those patterns.
21.Read the poem out loud .Determine if any sounds in the poem relate to topics discussed within the poem (for example,short,choppy syllables with repeated ''ee'' sounds could relate to a chirping bird discussed in the poem).
22.State the form or pattern of the poem (line length,stanza length,number of stanzes,etc.)
23.Evaluate the poem. how well did it achieve its purpose ? how well did it communicate its central idea or theme?
All of the previous questions lead to your being able to answer convincingly larger analytical question. In order to answer those questions, you must analyze the information from the above question .Use this information to construct a convincing and persuasive reading of the piece as a whole and to suggest the significance of the piece in increasing the reader's understanding of a particular issue, literary process,etc.
1. How do all the poem's parts (structure,oraganization,language use,meter,literary devices ,etc.) contribute to the effect of the piece of a whole?
2.What does the poem do (convent the reader,create shock,nostalgia,or fear,evoke a mood,etc.)?
3.If you tought this poem in class ,what might you use to introduce and to illustrate it(how a metaphysical conceit works,portrait of the ideal lover, etc.)?