Fact sheet for Fiction
Title-- Ponder the title before reading the poem
List words and Phrases-- List the important Nouns, Verbs, Phrases, and Clauses in separate columns.
Paraphrase-- Translate the poem into your own words
Connotation-- Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal
Attitude--Observe both the speaker and the poet attitude (tone).
Shifts-- Note shifts in speaker and in attitudes
Title-- Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive
Theme --Determine what the poet is saying.
SPECIFIC SUMMARY ANALYSIS
Ponder the title before reading the poem; predict what the poem may be
Translate the poem into your own words. Focus on one syntactical unit at
a time, not necessarily on one line at a time. Or write a sentence or
two for each stanza of the poem.
Contemplate the poem for meaning beyond the literal. What do the words mean
beyond the obvious? What are the implications, the hints, the suggestions of
these particular word choices?
Examine any and all poetic devices, focusing on how such devices contribute to
the meaning, the effect, or both, of a poem. (What is important is not that
identify poetic devices so much as that you can explain how the devices
enhance meaning and effect.) Especially note anything that is repeated,
either individual words or complete phrases. Anything said more than once may
be crucial to interpretation.
Observe both the speaker's and the poet's attitude (tone). Diction,
images, and details suggest the speaker's attitude and contribute to
Rarely does a poet begin and end the poetic experience in the same
place. As is true of most of us, the poet's understanding of an
experience is a gradual realization, and the poem is a reflection of
that epiphany. Trace the changing feelings of the speaker from the
beginning to end, paying particular attention to the conclusion. To
discover shifts, watch for the following: key words: but, yet, however,
although; punctuation: dashes, periods, colons, ellipsis; stanza and/or line
divisions: change in line or stanza length or both; irony: sometimes
irony hides shifts; effect of structure on meaning, how the poem is "built";
changes in sound that may indicate changes in meaning; and changes in diction:
formal language, for instance, or postive connotation to negative; the crux,
the one crucial part of the work that stands out, perhaps presenting the
complete idea all by itself.
Examine the title again, this time on an interpretive level.
In identifying theme, recognize the human experience, motivation, or
condition suggested by the poem. Use this theme chart:
A summary of the "plot"
or events of a poem written
in a short paragraph form
NOW THE POEM SHOULD BE CLEAR! WRITE THAT
INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH :
Be sure to include the title, the author, an immediate explanation of the
speaker's position, any title significance, an overall statement of "meaning,"
and a clear statement that answers every aspect of the prompt.
Subjects of the poem are
listed as words or phrases
After combining subjects
where appropriate, write a
complete sentence identifying
what idea the poet or speaker (narrator) is
conveying about each subject.