Poetry Analysis Examples

“Ah, but man’s rEAch should excEEd his grasp…”
-Robert Brownings “Andrea del Sarto”

rhyme scheme
There’s little joy in life for me, a

And little terror in the grave; b

I’ve lived the parting hour to see a

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Of one I would have died to save b

-Charlotte Bronte’s “On the Death of Anne Bronte”

When thou sigh’st, thou sigh’st not wind,
but sigh’st my soul away
-John Donne “Song”

free verse
All the same I
Intend to go on being
A cat that likes to
Gallop about doing good
Now with my bald head I go,
Chopping the untidy flowers down, to and fro.
-Stevie Smith “The Galloping Cat”

*the parentheses are not part of the poem but describe a aspect of the poem but {} is part of the poem

I’m going out to clean the pasture spring; (light, informing)
I’ll only stop to rake the leaves away (“only” – reservation)
{And wait to watch the water clear, I may}: (supplementary, possibility)
I sha’n’t be gone long. — You come too. (free, assuring) (after thought, inviting) “Rather well for me” —

I’m going out to fetch the little calf (Similar, free, persuasive, assuring
That’s standing by the mother. It’s so young, and inviting tones in second stanza)
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha’n’t be gone long. — You come too.
-Robert Frost “The Pasture”

Like two blossoms on one stern
Like two flakes of new-fallen snow,
Like two wands of ivory
Tipped with glod for awful kings.
-Christina Rosetti “Goblin Market”

Swiftly walk o’er the western wave,
Spirit of the Night!
-Percy Bysshe Shelley

Whose woods these are I think I KNOW.
His house is in the village THOUGH;
He will not see me stopping HERE
To watch his woods fill up with SNOW.
My little horse must think it QUEER
To stop without a farmhouse NEAR
Between the woods and frozen LAKE
The darkest evening of the YEAR.
He gives his harness bells a SHAKE
To ask if there is some MISTAKE.
The only other sound’s the SWEEP
Of easy wind and downy FLAKE.
The woods are lovely, dark and DEEP.
But I have promises to KEEP,
And miles to go before I SLEEP,
And miles to go before I SLEEP.

-Robert Frost “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening”

a frightful fieND/ Doth close behiND him tread
-Samuel Taylor Coleridge “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”


“death, that long sleep”

couplet, tercet, quatrain, cinquain, sestet, heptastich,
*these are all types of what

near rhyme
When have I last looked ON
The round green eyes and the long wavering BODIES
Of the dark leopards of the MOON?
All the wild witches, those most noble LADIES,
-Yeats “Lines Written in Dejection”
*what type of rhyming is this?

The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew.
-Coleridge “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
*what is this an example of?

extended metaphor
“the thorns of life rained down on him”

internal rhyme
*this is one line of poetry:
Once upon a midnight DREARY, while I pondered, weak and WEARY,
-Edgar Allen Poe “The Raven”
what kind of rhyme is this?

True wit is nature to advantage dress’d;
What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d
-Alexander Pope
*what kind of stanza is this

dove, glove, shove, love,…….

The winter evening settles down
With smell of steaks in passageways.
-T.S. Eliot “Preludes”
*what literary device is being used?

? / ? / ? / ? /
I ween| that when| the grave’s| dark wall|
-Emily Bronte, “Song”