How Do I Structure an Essay Using Four Poems?

Being a Literature student, you will have to write various types of papers, poetry analysis essay being the most frequent of them. Moving gradually from one theme to the entire poem, you will then increase the number of subjects and study global and eternal themes in literature that unite poets and entire epochs.

Somewhere in this process, you will have to write an essay about four literature works, i.e. poems. To do so, you will have to follow a quite lengthy algorithm. Here we will tell you about the main steps to take.

First of all, make sure you understand the point. If you are to choose four random poems, do not make a random choice. This kind of essay is no different from any comparative paper, except of the fact that it has more subjects to compare. Consequently, you need criteria to compare them.

Look for poems that appeal to the same theme – love, friendship, loneliness, patriotic feelings – it can be virtually anything, the only condition is, it has to be present in all four pieces. Also, try to choose poems that address the same theme from different points of view. For example, if you are talking about love, let one of your poems talk about romantic love, another one about tragic love and the remaining two about undying love and inspiring love respectively. Let its different aspects be revealed.

If you were assigned the poems, though, do your best to identify what their common theme is. Surprisingly, it does not always lie on the surface, and this is exactly why these very poems are chosen for analysis. You might have to scrutinize each of them several times trying to grasp what the author meant to say.

Once the main theme is defined, see how differently it is addressed in every poem. Make sure each one has its own peculiarity.

As any other comparative essay, this one will have three parts – the introduction, main body and the conclusion. You should start your intro by elaborating on the notion of love in general and in particular the love theme in poetry. Tell how differently it can be addressed and then illustrate it with four poems you have.

Your main body can be structured as you like. One of the options is to assign each paragraph to a separate poem and include everything you have to say about it. This way you will gradually move from one poem to another until the very end.

Another way to do it is to define the criteria for comparison (metaphors, rhymes etc.) and address one in every paragraph describing how it is used in every poem.  This brings a little bit more order to your thoughts. However, the choice is up to you, and you can use the sequence which seems more logical.

Make conclusions based on what similarities and differences you have found in the poems. Do not simply restate them, but rather re-think.

This is it. On your way, don’t forget to make smooth transitions between your thoughts in order not to confuse your reader. As you are writing a literature analysis essay, it will be a good idea to apply elegant language. Also, do not stick to the point which you deem right – you have to show originality, and if your thoughts contradict with what is commonly believed, do not be afraid to speak out.

We hope our advice will help you to not only write a grade-winning essay, but also to enjoy the process.

Best regards, team of