How to Read a Poem

Use the guidelines below to learn how to read a poem and understand it.

Read with a pencil

Read a poem with a pencil in your hand.

Mark it up; write in the margins; react to it; get involved with it. Circle important, or striking, or repeated words. Draw lines to connect related ideas. Mark difficult or confusing words, lines, and passages.

Read through the poem, several times if you can, both silently and aloud.

Examine the basic subject of the poem

Consider the context of the poem

Study the form of the poem

Look at the word choice of the poem

Finishing Up