Answering Unseen Poetry questions


Junior Certificate English JC (Poetry) Mind Map on Answering Unseen Poetry questions, created by mcglynnsiobhan on 08/03/2016.
Mind Map by mcglynnsiobhan, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by mcglynnsiobhan almost 8 years ago

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Answering Unseen Poetry questions
  1. Does the title tell us anything? Is there an introduction to the poem?
    1. Who is speaking in this poem? The poet may not necessarily be the speaker.
      1. Does the poet address the subject of the poem directly? Look out for the word "you". If the poet does this, it creates a sense of intimacy.
        1. What is the poem about? In other words, what is the main message (theme) the poet is trying to get across?
          1. What is the tone of the poem? Is it happy or sad, nostalgic or bitter, for example?
            1. Try to imagine the poet reading the poem aloud. What tone of voice do you think he or she would use? This can help you work out the mood of the poem. Watch out for irony: the poet saying one thing but meaning another.
              1. Does the tone of the poem change at all? Sometimes a poet may be angry at the start but calm and reflective by the end.
                1. Rhythm: Is the pace of the poem fast or slow? Does this tell us anything about the theme or the tone? (A slow rhythm is often associated with sadness.) What effect does the rhythm have? Does the rhythm vary? If so, why? Poems can have exciting moments in between calm, reflective ones.
                  1. Look at the images in the poem. Are they effective? Do you like them?
                    1. Look at the tense or tenses used in the poem. The present tense can suggest immediacy or an unresolved issue. The past tense can indicate that the poet has come to terms with the issue. Does the tense change at all? (Like in "The Lake Isle of Innisfree") What does the tense change tell you?
                      1. Think about the literary terms you learned when studying poetry. Start with sound. Is there any alliteration, assonance, onomatopoeia, etc.? Underline these as you notice them.
                        1. What other poetic techniques does the poet use? Are there metaphors, similes or symbols used? Are they effective? Do they help to create a picture in your mind?
                          1. What kind of language is used in the poem? Is it modern? Is it easy to understand? Is there slang? If so, why do you think it is used?
                            1. Do you like the poem?
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