What is a good method of analyzing open verse poetry?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Because of the vast nature of poetry and its very subjective qualities, there is no one method of analyzing it. Many schools of thought exist for the analysis and examination of poetry, possibly even more than for prose literature, because of poetry's numerous modes, techniques, styles, and standards.

One of the best methods, especially for open verse, is direct examination for unconscious form, alliteration and symbolism; many poets have a clear and unique style that shows even in open verse, and others find a rhythm in syllables and sentence structure. Alliteration is common in open verse because it allows the illusion of structure while giving free rein to deliberate or even random words. Symbolism is common, perhaps even inevitable, in all poetry, because of the nature of comparisons and the normal strive for beautiful language. Comparing and analyzing the parts that make up the whole will give a better perspective on the poem itself and, for many authors, a better perspective on similar or even dissimilar works.


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