Poetry Review: A Basic Guide

Poetry is one of the most critically analyzed art forms in the world. This is because when a person writes poetry they are playing with language. Unlike with article writing and creative prose writing poetry has no pre-established and for this reason judging poetry quality without being overly critical can actually be quite difficult to do.

Furthermore, poetry is really subjective to the perspectives of the reader. One person may read a piece of poetry and interpret it in one way; while another person may read the exact same piece and have a different understanding of it's meaning. Context, with poetry also needs to be taken into consideration. As well as the readers own personal experiences and biases. If the poetry piece is not related to the reader they may have a hard time understanding it on a deeper level.

How Do You Review Poetry

With all of this taken into account the real question here is, "how do you review poetry". Well, throughout your academic career you may be asked to critically examine a poetry competition and write down your opinions and remarks on the piece. Although, when you do write about poetry there are no write or wrong answers, there are some things that you need to look at specifically when examining a poem.

  1. Technical skill
  2. Before we look at the creative content, we need to evaluate the technical skill of the poet. Carefully consider their grammar, spelling, and organization of the words within the poem's context. Do their creative choices make sense? Have they followed a prose structure or written the poem freeform? How are their vocabulary choices?

  3. Creativity
  4. After we investigate the technical aspects of the poem we need to look at the artistry of the poem. Does it explore a unique idea? Has the author executed the poem in a way that is original? Is the poem expressive?

  5. Quality
  6. The final element you can look when reviewing poetry is the overall quality. Although, it is often left up to the reader to decipher is a poem is good or bad, the quality can easily be judged by the amount of effort being exerted in the creation of the overall poem. Even if you do not like poem per say, or do not agreed with the author's perspectives you can still review it fairly by evaluating the overall quality of the poem. If you are not sure how to judge the quality of a poem compare it to another piece of poetry that you are familiar with. How does this poem compare?

Reviewing poetry isn't an easy task. There are so many things to take into consideration when evaluating a poem that has been written by someone else. The most important thing that you must be mindful of is that poetry is art. You need to have an open mind but also look at these three important elements, technical skill, creativity, and overall quality, when you write a poem review.