As you get into the minute details of reading a poem, you may want to have a guide first on poetic terms with you if you encounter terminology that you don’t know.

Remember, each poem is different. So, you may need to skip some steps or switch the order of the steps below. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t “get it” the first time. Center your attention on what you do understand and take it from there!

How To #1. Take A Glance. Since poetry is a visual form of writing, you can learn from your first look. Before you even begin to read, glance over the entire poem.

Is it a free verse or a formal poem? You’ll usually tell the difference because traditional poetry has regular-looking line stanzas and lengths, while free verse can be a mixture of long and short lines and stanzas.