wikiHow to Critique Poetry

The objective of critiquing a poem is to help the author improve it. You don't have to like the poem. Liking a poem is subjective. You just need to point out the strong and weak elements. The author may or may not take your suggestions into consideration. For steps to follow when you critique poetry, consider the following.


  1. Image titled Critique Poetry Step 1
    Ask the author about the purpose of the poem. Request that the response be in a couple of sentences. Anything longer will just be confusing for you. You need to know this information in order to determine whether this goal is met according to you.
  2. Image titled Critique Poetry Step 2
    Read the poem a few times before writing down any notes. Read it first in your mind a couple of times before reading it out loud. You should try to get a feel of the poem.
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    Allow yourself a moment to contemplate the poem. Take 1/2 an hour to let the poem register in your mind before critiquing it in depth. You need to understand the poem before you can consider critiquing it.
  4. Image titled Critique Poetry Step 4
    Begin your poetry critique by writing down your first impressions of the poem. Mention what you like about it. Some ideas could be a positive feeling, the rhythm of the poem or the poem's energy.
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    Number the points you want to make. Mark the poem with corresponding numbers so that the author knows what you are referring to in your notes.
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    Look out for concerns when critiquing a poem, such as repetition, cliches and weak imagery. Take note of all the poetry elements and decide if they work to the advantage of the poem. Not all poems have to be strict with rules, but if the intention of the poet is to follow specific rules, then decide whether this is executed successfully in the poem.
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    Determine the originality of the poem. A similar theme to other poems does not mean it's unoriginal. Consider the approach that the author uses and whether there is a unique twist to the work.
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    Be diplomatic in your poem evaluation. Your notes should be motivational even if you feel there are a lot of changes that need to be made. You don't have to tell the author that the work is great if you don't think that it is. Instead, you can list the areas that you feel need work. Always be honest.
  9. Image titled Critique Poetry Step 9
    Make sure that the author recognizes that your critique is simply subjective feedback. The author can make changes according to your notes or just ignore your critique. The author will decide based upon your credibility.

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Categories: Poetry