What Should a Summary and Analysis of a Poem Contain?

A summary and analysis of a poem contains the classification of the poem, such as epic, narrative or descriptive, the themes of the work and the literary devices used throughout. It also contains a discussion about the tone of the poem, the narrative perspective and a conclusion about the work as a whole.

A good place to start in a summary and analysis of a poem is to know the author and the year the author wrote the poem. Often, the climate of the time of the poem’s release and the personal history of the author are reflected in the text. Knowing the classification of the poem also aids in understanding its meaning. Epic poetry is long with comprehensive themes, and descriptive poems relay images or scenes. A narrative poem focuses on one character’s perspective.

A summary and analysis also identifies the themes and motifs presented through the language written. Identifying literary devices, such as alliteration, repetition, rhyme, imagery and meter, is an important element in analyzing language and syntax of the poem. These devices are often direct reflections of the eras from which the poems come. Tone is the attitude of the work, such as humorous, irreverent or serious. Narrative perspective is the communication of the speaker and the audience at which the work is aimed.