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American Literature English 2130: Poetry

A guide to reference sources in American Literature

How to Read Poetry

​Use the guidelines below to learn how to read a poem and understand it.

  • Read with a pencil or pen
  • Examine the basic subject of the poem
  • Consider the context of the poem
  • Study the form of the poem
  • Look a the word choice of the poem

What makes a poem...a poem?

TED-Ed. (2017, March 20). What makes a poem...a poem? [Video]. YouTube.

How to Read Poetry

Writing with Andrew. (2022, April 11). How to read (and even enjoy) Poetry [Video]. YouTube.