Poetry analysis is the formal process of exploring the various aspects of a poem, including content, structure, rhythm and meter, form, and even its history. Poetry, as a form of literature, is meant to evoke meaning and subjective interpretation beyond the words, employing such devices as metaphor or simile in order to express emotion and hidden meaning. Poetry analysis can be useful in not just understanding what the poet was attempting to say, but in uncovering the multiple layers of a poem.
Academics have a number of different ways in which a poem can be analyzed. One of the most basic is looking at the poem's form. Some types of poems have strictly defines forms, such as sonnets, haiku, or limericks. Another major poetic form is that of blank verse, a poem that has regular meter but no rhyme. Poets will employ form for many different reasons, and often do so in order to evoke a particular meaning. In contrast, other poets employ the open form (free verse), in which structure is abandoned in favor of interpretative meaning.
When exploring poetry analysis, the reader must always take into account the various devices of imagery and symbolism, including allegory, metaphor, and connotation. It is often through these devices that more complex meaning is conveyed through the poem. Poetry analysis attempts to examine all of the potential aspects of a work in order to fullest meaning.