ENGL 1114 Poetry Analysis Essay: Interpretative Theme of Poem


Your task is to engage in a close, analytical reading of the poem. You must identify its interpretative theme and analyze how the language of the poem develops this theme.  This means you will be identifying not only the ‘what’ of the poem (its topic or subject matter) the so what of the poem:  what you think its argument is—that is,  what you think it is asking us to understand about its particular topic.
As explained in the posted material on essay writing, your thesis must identify an interpretative theme that is, an understanding of what you think the poem is arguing, suggesting or revealing about its topic.Identifying a topic alone is not adequate.  For example, ‘this poem is about death’ is not a thesis claim.  Death might be a poem’s topic/ subject, but an insightful interpretation will identify what you think the poem asks us to understand or think about death. Your thesis statement must be a 1 sentence summary of your interpretation of the poem and must be the final sentence of your introductory paragraph.  Refer to the explanation of basic structure in your ‘Essay-writing’ package.  
Remember that your essay must be developed through the quotation and analysis of the poem’s details.  In other words, your goal is to show how the details of the poem work to create and develop the meaning you have identified.  Be careful not just to describe what a poem says (paraphrase) rather, you must unpack and explain how its features words, images, form etc.—work to create meaning.  This is how you will develop your thesis. Refer to the posted demonstration.
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