Key Tips for Writing Excellent Poem-Summary

Poems are beautiful literary works that demand careful attention and study. A thoughtful, well-researched, concise summary must provide an in-depth analysis of the poem’s key elements. This includes its mood, language, themes, and symbolism.

Poems are always hard to summarize, but a few key tips can help you out. Keep on reading to find out how you can write an excellent poem-summary.

Two open books of poetry placed next to a cup of coffee.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Poem Types You Should Know About

Many poem types exist. And before you start writing your summary, it’s best to determine the poem type. This can help you better analyze it and compose a better summary.

Here’s a look at some of the main poem types.


Sonnets are old poetic forms that originated in 13th-century Italy. These generally short poems are written in a couplet or quatrain form and use rhymes on strong beats or stress. They’re also known for their use of consonance and end rhyming.

William Shakespeare broadly popularized this type of poetry during the Elizabethan period. All sonnets are composed of fourteen lines and usually follow the iambic pentameter.


An epic poem is a lengthy narrative. Often, these long poems detail the extraordinary feats and adventures of characters from distant backgrounds.

In tradition, epics have been narrated orally and depend on the poet’s tone to induce a sense of drama. Some of the oldest and most famous epics are Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey.


A haiku is traditional Japanese poetry with three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, respectively. In its modern usage, however, the number of lines may vary. It usually focuses on the beauty of nature and serene moments in life.


The unique element of a ballad is its musicality. It tells folk tales or legends in the form of a song. These poems were typically sung during the Renaissance or medieval historical period. Many ballads have been written down and passed down from generation to generation.

Visual Poems

A visual poem (sometimes called a concrete poem) is a written poem that creates a visual image related to its meaning. In order to create a visual poem, spaces and breaks between words and letters are used. They can even include alternative spellings of words. For instance, a poem about the holidays might be arranged to resemble a Christmas tree.

Free Verse Poems

Free verse poetry is notorious in literary circles for being unpredictable and irregular. Despite having no rhyme scheme or pattern, it’s still considered poetry.

You can write anything you want, from topics about love to political beliefs. It is all free-form poetry. As such, it won’t necessarily follow the traditional writing rules, such as the correct number of lines or syllables.

Key Tips for Making an Excellent Poem-Summary

Making a poem-summary is one of the best ways to check how well you understand the poem or story. It’s a common task that teachers give to students. They can hold key insights for your understanding of the plot and overall meaning of the piece. Follow these key tips to help you get started!

Decode the meaning and storyline.

You should place yourself in the poet’s shoes and try to view the poem from their point of view. Sift through the poem and find the lines that draw the audience’s attention most.

Examine the rhyme scheme.

You can easily see whether a poem has a rhyme scheme or not. By getting to know the rhyme scheme, you can understand the poem’s meaning more clearly. It will also help you determine what type of poem the author has written.

Look out for imagery.

Poets are skilled artists, painting images with their words. When summarizing a poem, look for colorful images and analyze the feelings they evoke.

Consider themes and symbols.

Themes and symbols are sometimes hard to spot when you read a poem. These themes can relate directly to symbols and symbols to the imagery. For instance, if the author discusses a skull, the object likely represents death.

Analyze the poem’s structure.

The plot, literary devices, and stanzas aren’t the only noteworthy things in a poem. Pay close attention to the way the poem is organized. The placement of the line breaks, the number of words and syllables, and the overall composition can significantly contribute to the author’s intention.

Study the language.

Poets always choose their words to convey specific points and emotions. Each word is written with intention, and each phrase carries significance. They can use metaphors and similes, for instance.

Get to know who the narrator is.

Think about who is telling the story and how they are doing it. Does the poet use a first-person perspective, second-person view, or third-person viewpoint? Your author doesn’t necessarily need to be the narrator for the unfolding events. It could be narrated through the eyes of a character.

Final Words

In order to make a great poem-summary, it is essential to get a good overview of the poem. Look at the poem’s lines and see what hints at the emotions the author is trying to convey. Often, a poem will lack a clear tone of voice, making it difficult to read the poem out loud.

This is why it is essential to study the work in its entirety before writing a summary. Making a comprehensive poem-summary is an art. And following these tips will help you to make an excellent summary.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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