I believe if you study something for long enough, it will ultimately help you to improve.
Having the ability to read a poem and to understand what the poet is saying between the lines, as well as the techniques used, is a good starting point for writing great poetry of your own.
So what are the building blocks of studying a poem?
1) Meaning - what is the poet communicating? Why does the poet use certain words and why those words and not others?
2) Look for allusions - why does the poet refer to certain things? What is the true meaning behind it?
3) Dictation and tone - what language is being used? Formal, classical, biblical, slang, popular... What is the tone of voice? Sarcastic, obnoxious, hypocritical, aggressive, grave, comical, enthusiastic, gentle, mocking, angry, optimistic... Try to "hear" the poem by reading it out loud.
4) Who is speaking and what is the situation? How many people are in the poem?
5) Grammar and syntax - if repetition is used, why is it there?
6) Figurative language gives a poem life - similes, metaphors, symbols, images, personifications - but also ask yourself why is it there and what meaning does it add to the poem.
7) Rhythm and rhyme can change the mood and feel of a poem creating abruptness and discord, or calmness through regularity.
Look out for my WordUp Wednesdays.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.