Jim Roth’s Website
EASY STEPS TO
Reading, understanding, and enjoying poetry is possible for all of us. It only requires that we follow a process. Follow these steps for each poem you study.
FIRST: SCAN the poem for difficult words and look these up in a dictionary.
Remember, every word in a poem is significant.
SECOND: READ the poem two or three times ALOUD.
THIRD: ASK yourself who is the speaker and what is the occasion. Do not assume the speaker of the poem is the poet. Often this is not the case.
FOURTH: PARAPHRASE the poem line-by-line or stanza-by-stanza until you get a meaning that makes sense. Remember, a paraphrase is a translation into common language.
FIFTH: READ the poem ALOUD a time or two more for new understanding and enjoyment.