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Analysis strategy

There are a few ways you can break down a poem into manageable writing chunks. Whatever way you choose, use a think sheet (look in the filing cabinet) to help you organise your thoughts ready to synthesise everything together into a cohesive whole! 
Remember to keep asking "so what?"

One way is to loosely use the 6 traits:


Visual Organisation

Sentence fluency


Summarise main idea(s)

Written organisation

Word choice/Images/senses




What clues does the title give?  What questions does it raise?

Does the poet split the poem into stanzas? Is there a shape to the poem? Does the poet use white space? 

Are the sentences short or long?  Run over the line?  How does this affect the rhythm and pace of the poem?

Does punctuation guide you to ideas? How is grammar used?

What do you think the poem is talking about?

Is a particular form of poetry used? Is the poem split into stanzas?  Do the stanzas reflect a different idea?  Is there a shift of tone or message? Is rhyme or rhythm used?  What for?

This includes word pictures, similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia.  Are the 5 senses utilised?
Are there individual words you really like? Words that are emotive? Words that can have more than one meaning?

Who is speaking?  What is the tone and/or mood of the poem? What tense is used?  

Why do you think the poet wrote this poem?  Is there a moral? 

What are your thoughts on the poem?