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A suggested toolkit

In this diagram, Lead Educator Patrick Thom gives a suggested methodology for approaching the question of poetic technique.

There is no one definitive way of analysing a poem, but the attached organigramme provides a suggested toolkit for approaching a reasoned analysis.

The different elements will not be equally applicable to every poem, but this provides a structure and a method that will usually produce something of value. The method involves seeing what is there and then asking oneself: “Why is it there? How does this feature contribute to what the poet appears to be wanting to convey?”. Response to poetry is a personal matter, so there will be no one definitive correct answer and different things will strike different readers with different force, but we will find that most poems are at least to a degree amenable to dissection by this method.

What do you think? Is there anything there that appears to you to be superfluous? Is there anything obviously missing?

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How to Read French Poetry

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