Reader beware: There are a lot of unpolished ideas here. Half baked thoughts, loosely connected associations, uninformed (but slowly becoming fully formed) opinions, pages waiting to be filled, and bullet points abound.

How to Read a Poem

There are many ways to read poems. These are just ideas. There is no right or wrong way to read a poem!

The form and structure of a poem is very important. Try to just look at the shape of a poem first (you can try to squint!). The shape of the poem can tell a lot about the mood that it is trying to convey, especially if it has an unconventional shape.1

On your first read, pay attention to the rhythm. Then pay attention to the meaning. Tune into what the story, emotion, or arguments a poem may be displaying. Line endings are also particularly important. Whether they rhyme, repeat, end abruptly, are enjambents, etc. Analyze how the sentences and words themselves are constructed. Try to see how each element interacts with each other.

  1. FutureLearn How to Read a Poem 

Notes mentioning this note

There are no notes linking to this note.

Leave a Comment