How should I approach and analyse an unseen poem?

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What is important regarding unseen poetry is that you first understand the poem that is in front of you. The best way to do this is to read over the poem carefully at least two times. Once you have done this, identify what you think might be the theme or the message of the poem, examples of this could be friendship or the passage of time. Following this you should look for quotations from the text that can provide evidence for the themes or messages you have found. This can be done once again by carefully going through the poem, this time underlining or highlighting any poetic techniques used. These techniques might include: metaphors, similes, alliteration or enjambment. You should then consider the effect that these poetic techniques have when reading the poem. For example, enjambment can be used to increase the pace of a poem. Along with this a particular feeling or emotion can be created which can also be discussed. In the conclusion it is useful to discuss the effect of the poem overall and summarise the main point of your essay. Due to the timed conditions it is necessary to remember that your essays should be that of quality not quantity, therefore it is better to have fewer, well developed points with plenty of supporting evidence. 

Ciara  M. GCSE English tutor, 13 plus  English tutor, 11 Plus English...

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