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Writing about poetry can be one of the most demanding tasks that many students face in a literature class.Poetry, by its very nature, makes demands on a writer who attempts to analyze it that other forms of literature do not.In order to make a credible argument about the poem, you will want to analyze how the poem works—what genre the poem fits into, what its themes are, and what poetic techniques and figures of speech are used. This is another place where you may need to do some research in an introductory poetry text or encyclopedia to find out what distinguishes specific genres and movements. The most common meter for poetry in English is iambic pentameter, which has five feet of two syllables each (thus the name "pentameter") in each of which the strongly stressed syllable follows the unstressed syllable.
A third point to remember is that there are various citation formats for citing both the material you get from the poems themselves and the information you get from other critical sources.Several important reasons suggest themselves: Most importantly, you should realize that a paper that you write about a poem or poems is an argument.Make sure that you have something specific that you want to say about the poem that you are discussing.So how can you write a clear, confident, well-supported essay about poetry?This handout offers answers to some common questions about writing about poetry.If you’re writing an essay about poetry or the author of poetry, you’ve already made an important writing decision: that the poetry or the author you’ve chosen is noteworthy and therefore deserving of exploration and discussion.There are few times in writing when there is an obvious way to begin an essay, and this happens to be one of them.Prop up your essay with confidence by starting your introduction with a verbatim passage of poetry.Doing so will train the spotlight exactly where it belongs: on the words and meaning of a poem or its author.Does the poetry deal with themes related to love, death, war, or peace? Are there particular historical events that are mentioned in the poem? Is it a sonnet (a brief poem, usually consisting of fourteen lines)? Also relevant to this category of concerns are techniques such as caesura (a pause in the middle of a line) and enjambment (continuing a grammatical sentence or clause from one line to the next).What are the most important concepts that are addressed in the poem? Is there anything that you can tell about the poem from the choices that the author has made in this area?