Poem Review

Reviewing  poetry requires that you analyze the wording and meaning of the poem and discuss these from your own perspective.  Things to point out include the different poetic devices used by the author, which will show your understanding for the poem.

Before Writing the Poem Review

  • Read the poem thoroughly several times.  This will help you become familiar with the words, the style and the meaning. The more times you read it, the more things you will discover that will help you write the poem analysis.
  • Do some research on the poet.  Check what era they lived in, what influenced  their lives and other information.
  • Decide on the general meaning of the poem and keep this meaning in focus when reviewing the poem.  Look out for examples in the poem which directly refer to the poem's meaning. Underline them and use them in your text.
  • Underline all unusual words/words with double meaning that come up in the poem.  You can use them later in your text.
  • Decide which poetic devices were used by the author (e.g. imagery, metaphor). If you're not sure of the options, check online to see which poetic devices are commonly used when writing poetry and identify it in the poem you are analyzing.

Opening Paragraphs in a Poem Review

  • The first 3 - 4 paragraphs of your poem review should be a brief summary of the work. 
  • Tell the story of the poem in your own words.

Analyzing the Poem

There is no hard and fast rule about analyzing a poem as there are many elements which you can bring in.  Some writers like to analyze the poem line by line, while others provide a general, overall review and support their facts using quotes from the poem as they see relevant.

Some things to look out for when reviewing a poem:

  • Classify what type of poem you are reviewing, (for example narrative poetry, epic poetry, dramatic poetry).
  • Ask what the tone of the poem is.  Is it funny? Is it serious? Is it ironic?
  • Identify the type of language used and how it relates to the theme of the poem.
  • Look out for repetitive words and identify how they add to the meaning of the poem.  Why were they stressed?
  • Identify what type of imagery was used in the poem and how it brings out its meaning.
  • What emotions did the language used evoke in the reader (fear, hatred, amusement)?
  • From whose perspective was the poem written? 

Poem Review Conclusion

The final paragraph of the poem review - the conclusion - should summarize everything you have have written in the paragraphs above. Provide an interpretative sentence or two.

Poem Review Tips

  • Choose a poem which you can relate to or a style which you enjoy reading.  It will make the review simpler.
  • Write an outline beforehand.  It will help put your thoughts into perspective.
  • Check online to find plenty of examples for a review of poem.

Recently published poem reviews