Uploaded by Samuel Boshears

POETS handout

POETS is a simple technique to help you grasp the simple meaning of a poem.
Preview and Predict: Look at the title and make a guess as to what the
topic of the poem might be. Annotate this next to the title. Number the
lines and stanzas (paragraphs) of the poem. Read the poem (out loud if
possible) 2-3 times. Your goal isn’t to figure out what every line means,
but to get a feel for what is going on in the poem - the “big picture.”
Object and Occasion: What topic(s) is being discussed in the poem? An
emotion? Event? Person? Object? Something else? Write the topic
above the title.
What prompted the author to write about this topic (occasion)? Write
this next to the title.
Emotion of the poem: How does the author feel towards the object? Is
it one emotion or many? What mood or atmosphere does the author
create? Sad? Happy? Creepy? Circle emotion words and other evidence
of the narrator’s emotions and the overall mood then write each new
emotion felt to the side of the stanza.
Theme: What does the author seem to be saying about the object?
What lesson or insight are they trying to share with the reader? Write
your theory or theories as to the theme somewhere on your paper.
Speaker and Summary: Who is speaking in the poem and what can we
learn about them? Look at the poem for hints as to who this person
might be and their interests, desires, and beliefs. Record your
observations at the bottom of the poem.
Paraphrase the poem by writing a simple explanation next to each
stanza. Keep it simple!