How do I write an analytical review on poetry?

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kcoleman2016 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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When doing an analytical review of poetry, there are several elements to consider:

  • Diction: The word choice of a poem can be an important factor when constructing an analysis. Elements include repetition, alliteration, assonance, capitalization, homonyms, words with multiple meanings, and the precise selection of words in a poem. 

  • Figurative Language: Figurative language, or language with a secondary meaning, can contribute central elements to an analysis. These include metaphor, simile, symbolism, personification, allegory, and others. 

  • Style: Different poems are written in different styles, which can dictate the length of a line, the length of a stanza, the number of lines, the number of stanzas, the syllabic rhythm, and the rhyme scheme. 

  • Theory: Different analytical theories will focus on different elements, so it's crucial that you pick one theory. For instance, historical theory would consider the author's life and setting and its effects on the text whereas a feminist theory would consider how gender roles and relations are developed through the text. 
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