How To Write Really Good Poem Analysis
Poem analysis is the investigation of form, the content, structure of semiotics and the history of a poem in a well-informed manner with the goal of increasing the understanding of the poetry work. Poem analysis helps one respond to complex and complicated issues. Besides, poem analysis helps to separate a poem into parts hence easy to understand the whole. An essay for poetry analysis requires deep examination of all the styles and elements used during the creation of a poem. There are various issues to consider before writing a poem analysis.
The first step before writing a poem analysis essay is to read the poem with very high attention. Rereading the poem more than once is necessary to comprehend fully all thoughts and perceptions of the poet. Besides, rereading the poem enables one to observe the pattern of rhyme in case it is used, and other technical methods used by the author to express ideas. After checking the technical elements, one should check the background story about the author such as the time when the poem was written and the circumstances surrounding the composition.
The first and most crucial aspect of writing a poetic analysis essay is to have a line acting as an attention grabber for the readers. The poem analysis essay should start with either a single or two lines from the poem under analysis. Besides, one can decide to write an interesting statement about the environment surrounding the poem such as culture or history. In addition, one can make a brief summary using about three clear sentences that indicate contents of the essay. Another best alternative is to use a rhetorical question.
The essay outline gives the guideline of writing the essay. The first step in writing an outline is to have the title of the essay at the top of a page. The next step is to number in Roman numeric the sections to be covered in the essay. For instance, under introduction, the writer should list all the ideas to cover in the introductory paragraph. The final part of the introduction is meant for the thesis statement. The next sections under the outline should list the elements to be discussed under each paragraph. The body contains discussion for the different poetic devices. Finally, the essay should have a conclusion.
The thesis statement is always the last sentence of the introduction paragraph. It tells the reader the content to expect in the essay. It should be precise in words and state the purpose of the essay. The thesis statement comes from the perspective the writer of essay chooses in the introduction. The writer should, therefore, choose the point of view in the introduction paragraph which then gives a guide on the formulation of the best thesis statement.
The introduction should give a brief summary and the background information of the poem. The summary gives ideas about the issues addressed in the poem. The background information goes beyond what the author has written. It helps the reader know some information about the author, location and the general context under which the poem was written. The introduction finalizes with the thesis statement as discussed above.
A good essay should have a body with each paragraph exclusively discussing each of the poetic devices the author has used in the poem. In discussing each paragraph, the writer should choose a poetic device and illustrate with about three examples from the poem. In addition, the writer of an essay should explain how each of the selected poetic devices expresses meaning. Basically, the paragraph structure is made of a topic sentence, example illustration from the poem, supporting quote and finally the commentary or rather the explanation.
Most of the poems have the literal meaning and the actual theme. The writer creates a connection between the quotes of the author and the actual meaning of the poem through explaining how the device signifies the meaning of the poem. Before writing the theme, the essay writer should pay attention to the literal meaning as illustrated by the author of the poem. It becomes easier to observe the emerging patterns which relate to the choice of words in the poem. The essay writer can now determine the main purpose and idea of the poet.
Another important aspect of the discussion is how to analyze the genre used in the poem. The first step should be to give additional information about the genre under discussion. The writer should also put in consideration the audience to relate with the genre. The argument should, therefore, be very relevant and persuasive to the target audience. In addition, one should analyze thoroughly the elements of the genre. The next aspects are versification and figures of speech applied in the poem.
The essay writer should be keen on the rhyme and its impact on the poem. Clear comprehension of the rhyme helps the reader determine the mood of the poem. In addition, the stressed words in the poem give more meaning to the poem. Other sound effects include alliteration, onomatopoeia, and assonance. Besides, the poet may use imagery and symbolism to pass the message. The essay writer needs to understand why such aspects have been introduced in a poem for simplified analysis.
Every poem tends to have a cultural context because different cultures have varied issues affecting them. It is within these contexts that poets derive different themes for their poems. The poem analysis essay should, therefore, capture the cultural context to get a clear understanding beyond the literal meaning of a poem. The essay writer should check out the diction used which can give a clue of the culture and discussion.
In the conclusion of poem analysis essay, one should review the main points discussed. In addition, the essay writer should give an explanation as to why the poet felt the topic of the poem was crucial. Besides, the concluding paragraph should have a relationship with the beginning of the essay like emphasizing on a sentence or phrase used at the start. Another crucial tip of the conclusion is to include sentences consisting of majorly one-syllable words which create an effect of drama. Additionally, one can use either a compound or parallel sentence to establish balance, especially for a complex poem analysis. The final section is to explain the relationship between the subject matter of the poem and outside world.
Revising the essay is a very important before submission. There are various tips to revise a poem analysis essay. Confirming transitions from one paragraph to the next is necessary so that the reader to follow along. Another important tip is to do peer review where you share the essay with others who in turn help to correct the errors. In addition, one should check the structure of the essay which is necessary to cut unnecessary sentences and restructure the confusing ones.
Analysis of the poem “We Wear the Mask”
In life, people can easily judge you by what you do, the look and even feel. However, sometimes people hide these factors by putting on a mask as illustrated by Paul Laurence Dunbar in the poem “We Wear the Mask.” Dunbar wrote in the late 1800s, a period when the United States experienced serious turbulence in racial relations. The African Americans lacked equal opportunities in various sectors such as education and employment when compared to the white race. These trends affected the poet too who could not get an employment opportunity even after successful completion of high school. The poet applies elements of imagery, metaphors, and hyperboles to illustrate the theme that people fake their true image due to harsh societal judgment.
Dunbar applies imagery to create the mood of suspicion in the poem. In the first stanza, the poet says “we wear the mask that grins and lies/ it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes.” These lines are best examples of imagery. When the poet says “it hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,” he implies that an individual wears a mask without necessarily saying it. The main use of imagery in the starting line of the poem points out that feelings are involved yet they are hidden.
Besides, the poet uses hyperbole to create the poem addressing torture and indecision. Dunbar says “this debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, and mouth with myriad subtleties.” The high exaggeration indicates how the person may be ruined within but looks perfectly happy from outside. The individual behind the mask is, therefore, an aggrieved one.
In addition, Dunbar uses metaphor to pass the message of someone hidden behind the mask. People hide behind masks because of feelings and not just for the sake of being fake. The third stanza of the poem indicates how the harsh judgment and criticism lead to the feelings and negative results such as low self-esteem or self-hate. Pretending, therefore, becomes the solution. Dunbar writes “Why should the world be over-wise/ In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, / while we wear the mask.” The line suggests that we should not let other people make us suffer.
Through the use of rhythm, figurative language and mood, the poet creates a mysterious, striking and suspicious poem. Any reader of the poem should carefully analyze it to understand the theme which is a judgement from the mask. Fear of being judged by others makes people do varied things that can hide their true image.