How to write a commentary on an unseen poem

Once you're sure you've found these literary devices, proceed to look further for: What does the title suggest- is it related to our understanding of the poem? Compare your first impression of the title to its actual meaning.

How to write a commentary on an unseen poem

To understand the multiple meanings of a poem, readers must examine its words and phrasing from the perspectives of rhythm, sound, images, obvious meaning, and implied meaning. Readers then need to organize responses to the verse into a logical, point-by-point explanation.

A good beginning involves asking questions that apply to most poetry. Context of the Poem Clear answers to the following questions can help establish the context of a poem and form the foundation of understanding: Who wrote the poem? Does the poet's life suggest any special point of view, such as a political affiliation, religious sect, career interest, musical talent, family or personal problems, travel, or handicap — for example, H.

Ammons' training in chemistry, Amy Lowell's aristocratic background, John Berryman's alcoholism, or Hart Crane's homosexuality? When was the poem written and in what country? Knowing something about the poet's life, times, and culture helps readers understand what's in a poem and why.

Does the poem appear in the original language? If not, readers should consider that translation can alter the language and meaning of a poem.

The Nardvark: A Level-7 Essay for IB English Exam Paper 1 - Commentary

Is the poem part of a special collection or series? Examples of such series and collections include Edna St. For example, does the poem relate to imagism, confessional verse, the Beat movement, the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights era, the American Indian renaissance, or feminism?

Readers should apply definitions of the many categories to determine which describes the poem's length and style: Is it an epic, a long poem about a great person or national hero?

Is it a lyric, a short, musical verse? Is it a narrative, a poem that tells a story? Is it a haiku, an intense, lyrical three-line verse of seventeen syllables?

how to write a commentary on an unseen poem

For example, does it examine personal memories and experiences? Title of the Poem Is the title's meaning obvious? For example, does it mention a single setting and action, such as W.

Does it imply multiple possibilities? For example, Jean Toomer's "Georgia Dusk," which refers to a time of day as well as to dark-skinned people. Does it strike a balance, as in Rita Dove's "Beulah and Thomas"?

Is there an obvious antithesis, as with Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice"? Is there historical significance to the title? If it is a long poem, such as Allen Ginsberg's Howl or Hart Crane's The Bridge, readers should concentrate on key passages and look for repetition of specific words, phrases, or verses in the poem.

Why is there a repeated reference to the sea in Robinson Jeffers's poetry? If readers note repetition in the poem, they should decide why certain information seems to deserve the repetition. Opening and Closing Lines of the Poem Does the poet place significant information or emotion in these places?

For example, when reading Marianne Moore's "Poetry," readers may question the negative stance in the opening lines. Does the poet intend to leave a lasting impression by closing with a particular thought? For example, why does Langston Hughes' "Harlem" lead to the word "explode"?

Passage of Time in the Poem Can readers pin down a time frame? What details specify time? Does the poet name a particular month or season, as with Amy Lowell's "Patterns"? Is there a clear passage of time, as with the decline of the deceased woman in Denise Levertov's "Death in Mexico"?

How long is the period of time? Speaker of the Poem Who is the speaker? Is the person male or female?First, Understanding (of the poem) - Nerdvark begins his commentary by explaining, or paraphrasing, the poem in order to show his understanding.

Second, Interpretation - Nerdvark then goes into a detailed analysis of the poem, being sure to mention many Literary Features and their Effects for . Paper 1 – Example Poetry Commentary Higher Level May The poem “Night Wind”, written by Christopher Dewdny in , is a mélange of diverse elements.

At heart, it is a celebration of nature, of the permanence and freedom of the night wind. At the same time. One text is a poem; the other text is a prose extract from a novel or a short story. Your task is to write a commentary on one of the two options.

Standard level students: you have hours plus 5 minutes reading time to choose the text, plan the commentary, and write the commentary.

Poetry is an extremely subtle form of writing, and reviewing poetry requires a deep understanding of the elements that comprise a poem.

Read our poetry analysis samples to gain a better understanding of how to write a poetry analysis of your own. How to write a Poetry Commentary [].

In order to write a proper IB Paper 1 style essay, the following guidelines must be followed. For the IB commentary, you are expected to explain a given poem or prose.

In a Paper 1 exam, you are given two mysterious, unseen texts, both of which are between 1 and 2 pages in length.

how to write a commentary on an unseen poem

For IB English Literature SL and HL: One text is always a poem, while the other text is always a prose extract from a novel or a short story.

IB English/Commentary - Wikibooks, open books for an open world