find a poem you like and
book answer the questions found below in 2.
Responding to poetry
1. A Framework for Responding to Poetry
Briefly introduce the title of the poem and name of the poet.
Try to classify the type of poem it is e.g. sonnet, ballad, haiku,
acrostic, shape, lyric, ode, limerick, elegy, dramatic monologue etc.
Briefly explain the subject of the poem.
Point One: Explore the Themes of the Poem
Try to group the ideas in the poem is there a story that the poem
What do you think the poem is about?
Point Two: Imagery used to express themes
What are the pictures in the poem?
Are metaphors/similes used to explain ideas?
Are the five senses used to evoke certain reactions in the reader?
Point Three: Form and Structure
How is the poem organised e.g. lines, verses, layout and shape.
Why has the poet decided to structure the ideas in this way e.g. the
sequence of ideas, length of lines, patterns etc.
Point Four: Rhyme and Rhythm
How does the poem rhyme? E.g. abab or aabb etc.
What is the rhythm of the poem when read aloud?
Why has the poet chosen this rhyme and rhythm to express these
Point Five: Language Patterns
Think about the sound of the poem and choice of words
The poet uses specific words because they have a certain association
in the reader's mind.
Look out for alliteration, onomatopoeia, assonance, personification,
symbolism. How has the poet grouped words to achieve a desired effect?
Conclusion: Poet's message
What is the poet trying to communicate to the reader?
How effective are the devices/language that he uses?
What is your response to the poem?
This poetry handout was found at www.englishresources.co.uk
2 . Writing
What is the poem about? Summarise what the poem is about in
two or three sentences.
Write about the verse form of the poem. If the poem is rhymed
verse, what is the rhyme scheme? Why do you think the poet chose this
Choose three or four interesting descriptive words or phrases in
the poem. Say what they mean and why you found them interesting.
Choose a comparison (for example, simile, metaphor or
personification) from the poem. Explain why you liked it.
Write about the tone and mood of the poem. Is it funny, sad,
happy, angry, bitter, peaceful, serious? Use quotes to prove your point.
What did the poem make you think of, or feel? Try and give
reasons for your opinion and quote from the poem to show what you mean.
Did you like the poem? Give reasons for your answer.
This poetry resource by Stephanie Young was found free at
3. How to analyse a poem.
1. Brief summary of poem - What is the story?
2. Diction - language/words/vocabulary poet uses
3. Theme - the ideas the poetry expresses/what seems to be
important to the poet.
4. Imagery - language used to convey sense impressions
(create the experience in
5. Figurative language - has the poet used any similes,
or personification and why?
6. Rhyme - Is there a rhyme scheme and does it help with
7. Tone - What tone of voice is used?
This term covers all the various types of image
in a piece of writing. An image is
a mental picture created by the words that a writer chooses for
effect. Images create “a picture
in the mind.” Images are usually
either metaphors or similes.
In Ogun the carpenter’s knuckles are described as “silver
knobs of nails”. This suggests the work-worn hands of the
carpenter and the polished highlights of his skin.
This tells us the attitude of the poet to the subject. Tone may
change. Not necessarily the same all the way through the poem.
e.g. What is the tone?
I have had playmates, I have had
In my childhood days, in my joyful school
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
A thousand years you said
As our hearts melted.
I look at the hand you held
And the ache is hard to bear.
From T. Wells