Reading Poetry - English 9

Step 1 Does the title add information to help you interpret the poem?
Step 2 Read the poem - aloud is preferred because poetry is an auditory event.
Step 3 Note patterns in the poem.
Step 4 Note the auditory effects (rhythm, rhyme, onomatopoeia, alliteration, consonance, assonance, etc)
Step 5 Determine how the cognitive effects add to the meaning of the poem (metaphor, irony, personification, simile, hyperbole, etc.)
Step 6 Determine the literal meaning.
Step 7 Determine if there is a figurative meaning (there may not be).

Please see "Introduction to Poetry" by Billie Collins