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Poetry Commentaries. An analytical approach to poetry By Miss Eaton. What’s a Poetry Commentary?. O.E.D. “a treatise consisting of a systematic series of comments or annotations on the text of a literary work”

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Poetry commentaries

Poetry Commentaries

An analytical approach to poetry

By Miss Eaton

What s a poetry commentary
What’s a Poetry Commentary?

  • O.E.D.

    • “a treatise consisting of a systematic series of comments or annotations on the text of a literary work”

      • treatise= “literary composition dealing more or less formally and methodically with a definite subject”

    • “anything that serves for exposition or illustration”

      • exposition= “to develop some central idea or opinion”


In other words…

A commentary is really like an essay.

You are in the driver’s seat.

It’s an essay question, but you create the question.

You decide what is significant or

particular about the passage or the poem.

You read it several times.

You annotate it.

You determine what it is about and what is distinctive about it.

You consider all those things you usually consider about prose or poetry


Then you comment!

And there is never any excuse for wallowing about in the ‘cotton wool’ of generalization because you have the TEXT right in front of you.

What a gift!

The commentary
The Commentary prose or poetry

A commentary is really nothing more than an essay in which you discuss the effects an author has created in a poem or prose passage. Writing good commentaries involves…

  • Clear organization

  • Understanding of literary techniques

  • The ability to explain how the author uses these techniques to affect the reader.

Prewriting prose or poetry

  • Read the poem.

  • Annotate it (underline, write down the things you notice about it, what you think as you read it, etc.).


  • Decide what your claim is going to be.

  • Decide what SPECIFIC EVIDENCE you will use.

  • How does that evidence support your claim?

Now what
Now what? prose or poetry

  • Once you have your TPCASTT and your pre-writing put together and organized, begin writing your commentary!

  • LENGTH is not as important as CONTENT (quality > quantity)

    *Remember:Writing is a PROCESS… do not simply “throw up” on the paper/screen!!!

What does an a paper look like
What does an ‘A’ paper look like? prose or poetry

  • Well focused and persuasive.

  • Identifies and fully analyzes the concept as it relates to the larger work.

  • Uses apt and specific textual support which provides an in-depth understanding of the concept and the larger work.

  • Demonstrates control over the content/thesis, language, and organization.

  • Possesses particular persuasiveness and/or stylistic flair.

Git r done
Git’r done!!! prose or poetry

(Note the next due date)

A Power Point by Miss Eaton