Analysing a short poem in order to get the highest marks

Poem analysis has several dimensions to it all of which you need to address in order to write an answer worthy of the top marking band.

The first time you read through the essay try to do so aloud and without thinking about the techniques the author has used. Reading it aloud allows you to hear the stresses the author intended for his readers to put emphasise on and you should note the location of these stresses for later analysis. Once you've read the poem try to process and write down the emotions it elicited as all of these are worthy of analysis.

Your second reading should be a lot slower and more detailed. Pay attention to individual words or phrases that illicit certain emotions or have a particular message. At this point you should start noting the use of certain techniques such as onomatopoeia and metaphor. In my experience you don’t need to use extremely complex analysis to get the highest mark. Instead the examiners are looking to see your comfort with the subject matter and ease and confidence dealing with the analysis.

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