Uploaded by Shaleni Nedumaran

Introduction to Poetry Analysis

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Levels of Meaning in Texts
Level 1: Surface meaning
Skills involved
Questions to ask
• Comprehension
/ understanding
• Skimming
1. Who?- speaker/key
characters in the
2. What ?- subject matter
3. Where ?- location of text
4. When?- time period of text
Level 2: Implied meaning
Skills Involved
• Analysis
• Inference
Questions to ask
1. Why? – writer’s reason/
intention for writing text
2. How ?- structure of text,
message and its value,
what it tells about our
world/ human nature
Close Analysis of Poetry
Definition: The close analysis of a poem refers to an
in-depth examination of the:
• Form and language
• Rhythm and sound
Should only do a close analysis of the poem only after
you have made an OVERVIEW
4 things to look out for in a poem
Close Analysis of Poetry
Form & Language, Sound & Rhythm
1. Form – the structure and layout of the poem
2. Language – the words(diction) used by the
3. Rhythm - Rhythm refers to the pattern of
sounds made by varying the stressed and
unstressed syllables in a poem
4. Sound –the musical quality and flow in
Letter from youth to his prospective employer
sir: I refer to my interview & your salary offer:
you said i would be given a commensurate salary:
commensurate with what? the depth of the filing
cabinet or the old bag sitting 3 desks & one righthand corner away? i am reasonably qualified:
quite handsome: my lack of experience compensated
by my prodigal intelligence: I shall not expect
to marry the typewriter: it's decision-making
i am after: that's what i am: a leader of tomorrow:
so why don't you make it today? my personality
is personable: & all opportunities being equal:
i am equal to any most opportune moment:
any most momentous opportunity: so take me
to your highest superior: & spare nothing:
at my earliest convenience: yours faithfully
Arthur Yap
2. something
given to make
up for a loss
3. Unlimited /
4. Suitable
5. Important
Close Analysis of Poetry
3-step method ( Pg 41)
What you should do
Step 1: Understanding
overall meaning
Read once to find out:
•Subject Matter
•Genre (FORM)
Step 2: Close Reading
Read again closely, paying attention to:
word order
figurative language
sound devices
2) Find out how the above convey message and mood of the
Step 3: Insight and
Read again, paying attention to:
Oppositional structure
Summarize this as a statement about the world and human
3) Reflect how your feelings change through the course of the
A framework to analyse poetry
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