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Because of the wide variation in types and formats used in poetry, specific procedures to follow in analyzing every poem are impossible. However, general suggestions and guidelines can be offered.
Since poetry is written to be heard, any analysis should start with the language and how it sounds. Look for any rhythmic pattern that may be present. Listen for the sounds of the words; are there rhymes or other special sounds in the text - alliteration, onomatopoeia, and so on.
Most poems carry more than one level of meaning. Symbolism may be delivered through any number of literary devices or techniques. Poets usually carefully select the words used in their writing to convey the message or impression they want to express, including situations in which they specifically want to leave the reader to create his/her personal interpretation. Deriving that content from the poem is another part of the analysis process.
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