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Key Strategies That Help With Analyzing A Poet's Works

Poetry is a beautiful form of writing that's celebrated all over the world. If you've found a particular poet you enjoy reading and want to fully comprehend their works, here are some strategies that can help.

Figure Out Who the Poet Is Addressing

A lot of poets make their poems about something or someone. If you can figure out who is being addressed, you'll have an easier time figuring out what the poet is trying to say with particular works you're analyzing.

It helps to read through a particular poem a couple of times and then ask yourself who the poet is trying to reach? Maybe it's a lover, a friend, or someone they might meet in the future. Once you have this audience identified, you'll have better context about what different parts of the poem mean.

Identify Poem Type

Today, there are several different types of poems that poets can write. Some of the more common are narrative, rhyme, free verse, and sonnet poems. Identifying the poem type will reveal more about the structure of the poem and that's paramount for gaining more understanding.

If you have experience reading poetry, then it probably won't take long to properly identify the poem type that a poet has decided to use for a particular work. Whereas if you don't have a lot of poetry experience, you might need to consult with a poetry expert or compare the poem with other poetry structures that you find online. 

Go Back Through and Paraphrase

One of the more effective techniques for better understanding a poet's works is to go through line-by-line paraphrasing what you think they're trying to say. If you stay committed and try to remain accurate, the true meaning of the poem will reveal itself.

You may have to look up words you don't understand, pause between reading each line, and see what others think. Ultimately, these strategies can help you break down the poem and put it into words that you may be more accustomed to. That should give you all the understanding you need when looking at a particular work from a poet.

Some poems aren't that clear as to what they mean, but that doesn't mean you should give up. With the right insights and tactics, you can do a good job at interpreting a poet's work correctly and then coming to important realizations that guide you forward. Look into works by different poets like a Puerto Rican poet or one from a different country.