Introduction to poetry analysis
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Introduction to Poetry Analysis: . Using SOAPS to Examine Poetry. « il n' ya pas de hors texte … » Derrida. “There is nothing outside of the text”

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Introduction to poetry analysis

Introduction to Poetry Analysis:

Using SOAPS to Examine Poetry

Il n ya pas de hors texte derrida
« il n'ya pas de hors texte… » Derrida

  • “There is nothing outside of the text”

  • Simply put, the meaning of a text must include an analysis of the language of the text (including its grammar and vocabulary), the figurative meaning of the language, the historical meanings of the language itself, and a knowledge of the history of the society in which the language is/was used. 

  • In addition, the interpreter should also have familiarity with the author.

  • A pure reading can only occur when the reader and author share a similar language from which to draw meaning.

Introduction to poetry analysis

  • Cup Poem #1

    What kind of spring is thisWhere there are no flowers andThe air is filled with a miserable smell?


  • Who is the speaker of the poem?

  • What are the intentions of the speaker?

  • Can you find evidence from the poem to support your answer?

  • Is it necessary to look further? There are contradictory opinions about outside research.

    • Derrida:

      “There is nothing outside the text.”


  • What is the Occasion?

  • In other words, the time and place of the piece.

  • What promoted the author to write this piece?

  • How do you know from the text?

  • What event led to its publication or development?

  • It is particularly important to understand the context that encouraged the writing to happen.


  • Who is the Audience? This refers to the group of readers to whom this piece is directed.

  • The audience may be one person, a small group or a large group; it may be a certain person or a certain people.

  • What assumptions can you make about the audience?

  • Does it seem to be addressed to a specific group, social class, gender, age group, or political party? How do you know?

  • Are there any words or phrases that are unusual or different? Is the language used for a unique audience?

  • Does the speaker evoke God, nation, liberty, history, heaven, hell? How do you know? Why is the speaker using this type of language?


  • What is the purpose of the poem? What the reason behind the text.

  • In what ways does the author convey this message?

  • What is the poem saying?

  • How is the speaker trying to spark a reaction in the audience?

  • What words or phrases show the speaker's tone?


  • What is the subject of the poem?

  • What is the general topic, content, and ideas contained in the poem?

  • Where is the evidence to support your assertion?