Poetry analysis is something that many students struggle with, even though they may actually like poetry. One of the best ways to solve this problem is to give a good example of poetry analysis. This article will provide you with useful tips that you can always rely on, when writing your papers.
Poetry Analysis Example: First Steps
Byron’s lyric poem She Walks in Beauty is a good example that students can use when practicing poem analysis. At first, you need to read it aloud. Only in this way you will appreciate the beauty of its rhyme and meter. Here it is:
She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
Poetry Analysis Example: What You Should Do Next
So, at this point, you have probably already noticed the powerful imagery that Byron uses to describe a beautiful woman that he probably met. Your professor may ask you to focus on different aspects of this poem. A good poetry analysis example has to include the following things:
- Tone of the poem. In other words, you should discuss the narrator’s attitude and feelings towards the subject. Overall, one can say that the writer views this woman with adoration. For him, she is an embodiment of beauty.
- Use of figurative language. This poem is full of expressive means that help the writer to describe the tenderness of this woman, for example:
- Metaphor – “walks in beauty”, “raven tress”;
- Simile – “like the night of cloudless climes”;
- Parallel structures - “How pure, how dear their dwelling place”;
- Epithet –“ gaudy day”.
- Meter. The poet combines different forms of meter, but he mostly prefers the iambic parameter, which means that he alternates unstressed and stressed syllables. More importantly, each line starts with an unstressed syllable.
- Rhyme. Byron uses a masculine rhyme in which the stress is almost always placed on the last syllable in the line. Besides, the last syllables in every line sound in the same way, and even have very similar spelling, for instance, night – bright, bright – light, grace-face, tress – express etc.
- Theme. At this point, you are free to interpret the poem in different ways. For instance, one can easily say that Byron strives to show how difficult it is to describe beauty only by means of language. However, you can offer your own interpretations.
Poem Analysis Example: Afterthoughts
So, now you have a better idea of how poems can be analyzed. There are many poetry analysis examples available on the Internet, and they can certainly come in handy. Yet, you should remember that practice is the main key to success. Hopefully, this assignment won’t be of any difficulty to you.