Perhaps the most challenging material people face in college is reading and studying poetry. While some poems are relatively simple others are more of a trek to get through and make their message elusive. Poet’s sophisticated vocabulary and complex syntax help them to write with precision to ease out the subtle notions of nature and the human mind.
Try to figure what the poet is saying on the surface the content of the poem. When you can summarize this content in a few sentences, examine the way the poet conveys this content in other words analyze the poem’s form. Finally determine how the content and form work together to create the poems’ meaning.
Useful hints to understanding poetry
Find a quiet place
Read the poem
Rephrase sentences you don’t know
Identify the literal meaning of figurative language
Analyze the poet use of language
Look for Rhyme
Read the Poem aloud
Repeat process until you feel comfortable with the poems’ meaning