Poems can be hard to understand sometimes, but these six questions will clear up almost any poetry mystery.
Poems always have meanings unique to the poets, but we readers take away our own meanings too. Sometimes, we just don’t get it yet. That is when these six questions can help us demystify a poem.
1. Who is speaking? Bonus: What do you know about him/her?
2. What is being said?
3. How is it said?
4. Where does the poem take place? Bonus: Where was it written?
5. When does the poem take place? Bonus: When was it written?
6. Why? This question should be asked lastly, because if we bog ourselves down with the why while we are reading or just after reading, then we might create meanings that are not intended…or come away lacking understanding or enjoyment of the poem…which may cause us to judge it negatively…or abort further interest in it…causing us to be less open to other poems.