Poetry Analysis Techniques
Here are a handful of techniques you can use to perform an analysis of a poem. Not all of these techniques will work for you on every, but if you memorize these strategies, you can understand just about any poem.
SOAPS is handy as a general introduction to a poem. If you are having a tough time getting any meaning at all from a poem, SOAP will lead you to at least a basic understanding.
- Subject: the general topic, content, and ideas in the poem
- Occasion: the time and place or context of the poem
- Audience: to whom the poem is written
- Purpose: the reason behind the writing of the poem Speaker the voice speaking in the poem
DIDLS is a good strategy for determining the tone of a poem and how the author creates the tone.
- Diction: the author’s word choice Images: vivid appeals to understanding through the senses
- Details: facts that are included or omitted
- Language: the overall use of language Sentence
- Structure: how structure affects the reader’s attitude
TP-CASTT is possibly the most effective of the techniques listed.
- Title: Ponder the title before reading the poem.
- Paraphrase: Translate the poem into your own words.
- Connotation: Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal.
- Attitude: Observe both the speaker’s and the poet’s attitude (tone).
- Shifts: Note changes in speakers and attitudes.
- Title: Examine the title again, but on an interpretive level.
- Theme: Determine what the poet is saying.