So you have to read a poem and, what's more, understand it. Where do you begin? Ask these questions of your poem and you should end up with a much better understanding of any poem.
Keep asking yourself: "What is this poem about?"
What is the author's attitude toward what he or she presents in the poem? Serious? Ironic? Satiric? Angry? Humorous? Detached?
Rhythm is what gives poetry a musical feel. The meter can be measured by counting the beats in each line.
Consider the sound and rhythm of the poem. Is there a pattern? If so, how regular is it?
Does the poet use rhyme? What particular words or phrases in the poem are made to stand out?
Many poems do not have any rhyming or any set pattern of rhythm or meter. They are called free verse. There is free variation in the length of lines, the form and content of the poem. Repetition of words and phrases often contributes to making the poem coherent (= sammenhengende).
A metaphor compares two things without using the words "like" or "as". It gives the quality of one thing to something that is quite different.
Example: The winter wind is a wolf howling at the door.
A simile compares two things by using the words "like" or "as". A famous example is the line "My luve is like a red, red rose".
A symbol has a fixed meaning.
Examples: A heart means love, a dove means peace.
Share feelings? (of joy, sadness, anger, fear, loneliness)
Tell a story?
Make us think about something important?
Make us laugh?
The theme of the poem is the total effect the poem makes on the reader. The theme is more general than the subject-matter of the poem, or what the poem presents in concrete terms.