This specific argument that you want to make about the poem will be your thesis.
You will support this thesis by drawing examples and evidence from the poem itself. Does it fit into a specific literary movement such as Modernism, Romanticism, Neoclassicism, or Renaissance poetry?
So how can you write a clear, confident, well-supported essay about poetry?
This handout offers answers to some common questions about writing about poetry.
In order to make a credible argument about the poem, you will want to analyze how the poem works—what genre the poem fits into, what its themes are, and what poetic techniques and figures of speech are used. This is another place where you may need to do some research in an introductory poetry text or encyclopedia to find out what distinguishes specific genres and movements. The most common meter for poetry in English is iambic pentameter, which has five feet of two syllables each (thus the name "pentameter") in each of which the strongly stressed syllable follows the unstressed syllable.
Theme: One place to start when writing about poetry is to look at any significant themes that emerge in the poetry. Versification: Look closely at the poem's rhyme and meter. You can learn more about rhyme and meter by consulting our handout on sound and meter in poetry or the introduction to a standard textbook for poetry such as the .
Lyric essays often consist of conversational digressions, due to its lack of a restrictive form.
Some lyric essays include vignettes, such as Maggie Nelson's Bluets.
An example of this is found in Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric, which the book's publisher classifies as both poetry and creative nonfiction Rankine code switches between highly personal, diaristic language and formal, academic language—as well as a variety of other types of language.
The most prominent publication focusing on the lyric essay is the Seneca Review under the editorships of Debora Tall and John D'Agata.