find a poem you like and then in 
         your 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 tells?
  • 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 ideas?

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

                                   2 . 
Writing About Poetry

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 verse form?

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 our imagination)
    5. Figurative language - has the poet used any  similes, metaphors or personification and why?
    6. Rhyme -   Is there a rhyme scheme and does it help with structure?
    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.

    TONE -

    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 companions
     In my childhood days, in my joyful school days.
     All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
           (Charles Lamb)
     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