How to Unlock Poetry! Spider

SPIDER: method of analyzing poetry

S = Setting “What’s going on? What is the situation? The setting is on the surface level  -  we understand setting by looking at the words of the poem. WHERE ARE WE?

P = Purpose… What is the poet’s purpose? What is going on underneath.

What is happening? What is the writer’s intension? What does he want you to think about?

I = Imagery – A word-picture. What pictures or images are created to help you understand how to put the story together? AND… what figurative language has the poet used to help you understand what the poet has to say.  For example, did the poet use: Simile, metaphor, personification?

D = Diction… Think of the word dictionary. What words are used in this poem?

Why has the poet chosen these particular words?  (Any alliteration or  onomatopoeia?)

E = Economy of the poem, how does the  poem look on the page?  How does the poet manage and organize the words?  How does he organize them on a page? The Stanzas. Run on lines?

R = Rhythm and patterns.  Does the rhythm give a sense of order? How does the rhythm and pattern make you feel?  Calm, excited? The rhythm could suggest a “state of mind.”


Or, the 123 of a Poem:

1          Theme – what it’s about (scenario and purpose -  the S & P)

2          Language (the I & D)

 The language gives the clearest insight into the poem. Language makes the poem unique.

3          Structure   (economy and rhyme – the E & R)